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I think that the "Bay Area scene" is different from much of the world.

I think that part of human nature is that people like people who are like themselves, so you sometimes get these insular / discriminatory sub cultures that judge people on superficial traits instead of the quality of their minds. From both this article and the tales of many friends, San Francisco strikes as one of these low-tolerance / high-discrimination places.

I live in NH, on a farm and work (mostly) remotely. I've got a network of contacts, I get pinged w requests for contracting work, I do the job, I get paid. No one asks me about my age (45) or judges me because of it.

Personally, I dislike places where people are provincial and close-minded, so I'll stick to the rural countryside and leave SF to the bigots.




San Francisco strikes as one of these low-tolerance / high-discrimination places.

The rapidity with which people flip the idiot bit on you, due to puddle-shallow signalling in the Bay Area really takes my breath away.

- The sound of keys clicking in a phone interview automatically means you are Googling the answer in an interview. Never mind that you are a dynamic language programmer and you are writing a 10 second scriptlet to answer the question.

- The mention of anything that sounds "audiophile" automatically means you are a terrible douche who naively believes in all of Monster Cable's woo. No need to actually evaluate what you are saying through knowledge of physics.

- You must subscribe to the magical powers of [insert paradigm/language here] or you are a dirty mudblood who's simply too dim to appreciate the magic. (Don't say anything like, "Soft factors, like how well your team works together, swamps the effect...")

- You must be able to mad-libs complete the paraphrase of recent CS textbooks, or you obviously never covered the topic.

This isn't even to mention weird prejudices and half-baked knowledge about older technologies. It's as if people didn't understand that https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5695816 is also a parody of programmers misunderstanding of technology.


> "You must be able to mad-libs complete the paraphrase of recent CS textbooks"

This kind of thing is the worst in interviews. Like getting asked some fill-in-the-blanks question on the pillars of OOP or to define some random bit of jargon or what-have-you. That coupled with the "have you seen this question before" interviewing is just infuriating.


I just took the TripleByte assessment for Mixpanel and over half of it was this kind of shit. Worse, they threw in multiple-choice design questions. No, I would not use any of the complicated sets of things you presented me in this case, and do not think any of them is the right answer.


I love this one: Once I was asked a design question. I presented three answers. Then the interviewer says, "Well, here's how I would do it!" (unspoken: you idiot) He then proceeds to write out my second option. (The takeaway: If you don't understand someone's jargon, you need to be curious and ask, don't just gloss over it.)


> If you don't understand someone's jargon, you need to be curious and ask, don't just gloss over it.

Quite frankly understated.


> That coupled with the "have you seen this question before" interviewing is just infuriating.

When I interview someone, I will usually ask if they've seen the question before, so that I can skip it -- is there something wrong with that?


> "have you seen this question before" interviewing

I suspect that this was meant to refer to interview questions with an "Aha!" answer, that are unlikely to be answered correctly by people who don't already know the answer.

For example, I think, "How would you detect a cycle in a linked list?" is a bad question because, if the candidate implements Floyd's algorithm on the whiteboard, the likely assumption is that they remembered it, not that they came up with it on the spot.


Exactly. Questions that have a super optimized answer that's probably non-intuitive and unlikely to be arrived at if you've only spent a few minutes exposed to the problem. These are basically puzzle questions in disguise.

In general I think there are two kinds of coding questions that are worth asking. Straightforward implementation based questions that should be solved basically as fast as the candidate can write, assuming they're familiar with the basic techniques. These are in the same vein as fizzbuzz and generally just give you a sense of the techniques the candidate has mastered (basic programming, bit-wise operations, recursion, etc.) The other kind are open ended questions that help show problem solving skills, knowledge of different algorithms and data structures, etc. These sorts of questions don't have the same variance as the secret puzzle questions. The amount of time to throw up a fizzbuzz implementation if you've seen the problem before should be about the same as if you haven't. And the same goes for open ended questions that are more about design, thinking, etc.

And of course you always want to factor in the problem of dealing with candidates who are nervous, in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation, and not operating at peak performance. You shouldn't expect production quality code for complex problems in those situations, you should be looking for code that gives you data.


In some ways, the problem is never the question, but how the results are evaluated.


I generally agree that "Aha" questions are bad, but if it's a common problem that people actually re-invent solutions to, it can still be a useful interview question. I personally avoid them, but see a few advantages:

1. If they're not aware of an existing algorithm, it's good to see what they come up with isn't terrible. It's insane the number of times I've seen unbounded time shuffle algorithms in production code. (Repeatedly pick a random element from src, linear scan of dst, and append to dst if not found.)

2. If they know a few famous algorithms, it's much more likely they're aware of the existence of lots of algorithms and are much more likely to Google for the pre-existing algorithm instead of making up something terrible on the spot.

3. A lot of these famous algorithms aren't as difficult to come up with as you'd think. When I first heard of the key schedule biases in RC-4, I thought about it for half an hour and came up with something identical to Fischer-Yates, using the unbalanced Feistel cipher at the core of MD5 (unfortunately, killing the speed advantages of RC4). Years later, when I heard there was a name for the algorithm, I checked Google to see if they had included the back-to-front optimization, and sure enough, what I had come up with was identical to Fischer-Yates.


in Lisp you use two pointers (a fast and a slow one) to detect a cycle in a linked list. For example http://clhs.lisp.se/Body/f_list_l.htm


Yes, because this gives them the chance to say no and pretend to walk through it slowly showing how "smart" they are.


How is that any different from the potential behavior if one didn't ask?


Is this really a phenomenon that is exclusive to Bay Area companies though?


I don't about "exclusive" but the very first time a "data structures and algorithms" question ever appeared in an interview I had was in the Bay Area, after having spent 10+ years on the east coast. Prior to that interviews focused almost exclusively on design patterns (not just OO, but general architecture), project experience, and language specific questions where appropriate. I've been here a while now so I have no idea what the interview culture outside the Bay Area is like anymore.

This area has a high density of people who conflate academic computer science with software engineering, or who think the latter is some easily learned demi-skill to be looked down on, etc.


> conflate academic computer science with software engineering

Which is mind boggling. I took an introductory "software engineering" class in (a reasonably prestigious) university ~15 yrs ago which was ostensibly about learning how to use the right tool for the right job, and one of the assignments was to build a web application in C++!

Perhaps the intent of that assignment was to show that it wasn't the right tool, but that was certainly never communicated by the professor.

I didn't really learn any software engineering until I got my first job and had to build software, with a team, that people actually used.


one of the assignments was to build a web application in C++!

As an aside, we were doing this in the mid-late 90s (NSAPI) and we were running rings around Perl/CGI shops. Why? Because what took them a whole rack of machines took us a single box, and we simply skipped all the issues of syncing data, accessing a shared database with locking etc etc etc that they had to deal with.

Right tool for the job ;-)


see my (late) follow up comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12559900


Would modern c++ with a decent framework be that bad for web development? I imagine you'd have to do a bit more wiring due to the lack of reflection etc, but that isn't an insurmountable problem.

Edit - There a quite a few frameworks out there. This one seemed quite nice: https://github.com/ipkn/crow


It would usually be a wrong tool for all of these reasons:

1. There isn't a low-level performance bottleneck within most web-dev code. It's almost all occurring at levels slightly above that(disk access, network bandwidth, database queries, horizontal scaling). The stuff that needs to eke out another 50% in an inner loop through optimizing cache access or careful use of hardware parallelism tends to be a single algorithm or batch process that can be developed independently of the larger application.

2. For eliminating whole categories of errors, there is a bounty of options out there that can claim to improve on C++ through better tools, type systems, and compiler technologies. Even Java, as maligned as it is, can constitute a credible step forward.

3. Good C++ developers aren't that common. There are plenty of junior developers who are eager and ignorant of the potential dangers, though - they will make a mess in any environment, but they'll make a bigger one when given power tools. (This is the argument for Go, and w/r to the case of low-pass-filtering junior devs it definitely makes sense.)


Some counterpoints:

1. There are a number of reasons one might choose C++ that aren't related to low-level performance in almost any application. For a particular web application it may or may not be a good choice, but I wouldn't categorically reject it, even for a class project or assignment web app.

2. Any language or suite of them has whole categories of errors, deficiencies in tooling and other issues that can make it suitable or not in the hands of a given team. C++ has more or fewer of these than other languages depending on the context.

3. This seems to be hurling a pretty broad insult at many C++ developers, and "good" requires context.


Obviously this is a very late response to this thread, but I thought I'd add what I actually ended up building for this assignment.

The requirements were specifically to build a game, any game, and as long as it was playable (and your code was readable) you'd get an A.

So, annoyed as I was at the requirement that the backend be built in C++, I decided go above and beyond the requirements and built a single page Othello game, complete with a strong and fast AI (I happened to take this class much later in my studies than the standard curriculum called for, so I had already taken an AI class and had learned how to build a minimax tree with alpha beta pruning, though up until that point I'd only ever done it in Lisp).

So, by changing the actual requirements of the project, I actually made C++ a more appropriate choice of tools for this project and was able to build a very responsive single page Othello game with a strong AI capable of running pretty fast on the hardware we were tasked with using.

I was the only one who used Ajax to make it a single page app, and the only person to build an AI. Needless to say, I got the best grade in the class, but I suppose I had an unfair advantage.


> There are plenty of junior developers who are eager and ignorant of the potential dangers, though - they will make a mess in any environment, but they'll make a bigger one when given power tools.

I've often wondered about this. c++ has a tendency to fail fast and hard whereas higher level languages can lead to a false sense of security/understanding. Blowing your foot off isn't necessarily a bad thing.


>>You must be able to mad-libs complete the paraphrase of recent CS textbooks, or you obviously never covered the topic.

Only recently a friend of mine narrated an interview tale. I don't exactly remember the precise question, but apparently he was asked to solve a problem in 30 mins(Two problems is what interviewer expected him to solve in an hour). One of such problem apparently he couldn't solve it in the time complexity the interviewer expected him to. Though he got some solution working in an hour.

He later on went and googled it and apparently the algorithm couldn't be solved unless you knew about Suffix Automata(http://codeforces.com/blog/entry/20861)

Long story short, these days apparently without everyday exposure competitive programming exercises(spending hours every day on sites like codeforces, SPOJ and hackerrank) there is no way you can clear interviews.


> Suffix Automata

Reminds me of the Aho-Corasick string-matching algorithm.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aho–Corasick_algorithm


I'm always amused when I have a polar opposite experience to someone's virulent assertions, which is definitely the case here.

Edit: in a further comment, you assert an unspoken insult being communicated in a perfectly neutral sentence. I guess what I'm saying is I bet you bring quite a bit of the negativity you experience to your interactions.


I don't know what happened, because I wasn't there, but I do know that it's perfectly possible to communicate an unspoken insult in a perfectly neutral sentence.

I am not convinced that your assumption about his negativity is any more valid than his interpretation of his experience.


And I'd like to posit that you too may be incorrect about your assertion, as I have surely experienced a different interpretation albeit assumption of reality


I concur with you. People who have a super negative impression of SF nerds should re-consider their choice of nerds they are finding themselves around.

My own experiences in SF has been positive. I've found people are generally very excited about what they are doing in life, optimistic about the future and most importantly, willing to lend a hand. (This is in huge contrast to the cut throat image of the valley in the media; while individual startups and industries within tech may be cut throat, I wouldn't describe SF tech world as "generally cut throat")

One thing to keep in mind is SF has a fair share of folks who move here for their first job. These people are just entering the workforce and are maturing more, not less, each day. I've seen some pretty radical transformations of the same people over 1-3 years. A lot of the portrayal of the Valley in the media is of a fixed non-evolving mindset, which again, is the opposite of my experience.


Edit: in a further comment, you assert an unspoken insult being communicated in a perfectly neutral sentence.

It was entirely certain that he did not understand that he repeated the 2nd option I gave him. Furthermore, when I tried to correct him, he behaved as if I was lying to him.


> unspoken insult being communicated in a perfectly neutral sentence

I take it you're not familiar with the wonder that is Yes, Minister?

(More broadly, and to explain the joke for the benefit of HN, a large amount of British oblique humor and especially political and civil service culture relies on the art of the indirect insult.)


> Personally, I dislike places where people are provincial and close-minded, so I'll stick to the rural countryside and leave SF to the bigots.

I like that quote. Copied it to my notes for future reference.

To expand more on the topic, I wonder if remote workers are a good way to bring some revival for smaller rural communities.

I visit some of those places and many have a beautiful setting, everyone knows each other, there is a sense of a community. It is quiet.

There is probably a tipping point where if enough companies would hire remote workers, people won't be afraid to move to such communities. Currently many (including me) even if they do remote work, would probably be hesitant to move, because if they have to jump ship, they know there is a smaller chance of getting remote work again. So staying closer to a tech center seems like a better option.


It's a weird situation, because I was working remotely for a tech company and was required to move to the Boulder, CO area recently. It's an awesome company and I was stoked about the area, so I went ahead and did it, but the requirement for collocation that has been driven by certain management ethos' is odd in such a technology driven world.

The advantages I've had by moving from Arkansas to here have been numerous, and mainly this is due to human nature causing companies with enough co-located employees to leave remote workers out of the loop.

The OP is right though: I find the "herd effect" that occurs from a bunch of very similar people especially potent in SF. What's funny is how diverse they think they are based on superficial traits like maybe ethnicity, but the reality is they tend to be very uniform in socio-economic background, age, and education.


And yet there are companies that think nothing of hiring offshore workers to replace local jobs. Sometimes within the same organization. Why is it that a company will require you to either be on-site, or in India, but nowhere else?


From the company's perspective the job has to be one for which the company can reliably measure your output. If you're doing data entry for medical records the company can easily count the number of patients you've finished, the number of pages, even the number of keystrokes.

But for a developer working from home the company can't tell the difference between a bug that took three days of plugging away to find and one that you knocked out in twenty minutes before binge watching House of Cards on company time.

Most professionals have enough personal integrity to work when they say they're working, but the ones that don't can be very corrosive to morale and a big drag on productivity. I got the impression that's why Marissa Meyer forced everyone at Yahoo back into the office.


> But for a developer working from home the company can't tell the difference between a bug that took three days of plugging away to find and one that you knocked out in twenty minutes before binge watching House of Cards on company time.

I'm more productive this way. Having something like House of Cards on in the background provides enough distraction that I don't get distracted by other things, like HN. But if I were to do this in the office I doubt it would go over well.


BULLSHIT!

I can damn well see when a issue has been entered in a bug tracker and when the bug has finally been marked fixed with the commit listed in the bug tracker..

So can everyone else including managers


Assign bug to me... Fix bug in 20 minutes... wait 3 days (binge watching netflix)... Commit fix, mark bug as fixed...

Relying too much on commits / tracking tools is a red flag of poor management.

If any of my team reported "still working on bug X" in the standup 3 days in row, without any significantly interesting details, I'd have assigned a few more people to help out.


This is where automation and proper process management come into play and sadly this is where many companies fall down. It's not that development productivity cannot be tracked it is that management generally does not understand the problem domain that they manage, well enough to put the proper measures and controls in place to identify inefficiencies.

Something as simple as a software review board, which places time estimates on a problem agreed on by a panel of at least 2 developers and then a process to check those estimations against actual results to find how far their estimation deviate from actuality across all developers, gives a fairly accurate picture of how long something should take and becomes more accurate over time. Further automation like linking the ticketing system to the SCM, so that when a branch is created for the issue the clock starts ticking and stops at checkin/smoke test, gives a pretty accurate picture of time spent on a task. Any developer that is deviating far below the low threshold is potentially wasting time and his/her work should be reviewed, as it is only an indicator that there may be a problem not conclusive proof.

I have worked remote for over 7 years, and currently reside in a very remote area for developers (Key West) and have no issue with remote development. Either a company has these process in place or I quickly put them in place. That or find other remote work as my only bad experiences have been with companies that do not have such measured in place. It's not a hard problem to solve one just needs to know the problem domain, most managers don't, so they just resort to the butts in seats management style and honestly without similar controls the same kind of time wasting can be employed, it just manifests itself differently but incompetent managers figure well they are here so work must be getting done.


BULLSHIT!

I can easily check the code in at the end of my television spree.


A lot of places simply are not structured to handle remote workers and penalize them when away from centralized offices. Remote work or distributed companies are an anomaly that present risks when your management doesn't understand the basics and that's understandable.

The presumption is that remote means lower value or productivity as a default in classic companies. It's not necessarily a matter of luxury either; your C levels don't work from their yachts in a marina normally. Some are just too rigid in approach to change how they work even if it's demonstrably negligible. I had a client before that had a mostly distributed team and wouldn't let us increase the hourly rate unless we relocated to an office - few people even at the offices ever talked that often and we hardly ever met in person with the client ourselves even for those five miles down the road.

The usual tech company reasoning now is that the tools for remote work do not facilitate creative, spontaneous insights that are critical for competitive companies.


As someone that also works in Boulder, is your compensation enough to allow you to actually live in Boulder?


I've been working full time in Boulder for the past five years and I could get into the bottom end of the real estate market if I really wanted to - I started working straight out of college with no debt, but no equity either. I've stayed out because I've not felt my career stable enough to jump into that kind of long term investment. My company's been going through some ups and downs and cash in the bank seemed smarter than having it tied up in property. It also came in handy having some "f-you money" considering I just took two months of unpaid leave.

The cheapest house I've seen in Boulder has been around $450K. If you want a condo or town home in Boulder, you're looking at about $270K and that's probably going to be on the out skirts of town and built in the early 90s.

There's also permanently affordable housing. They are subsidized properties that you have to qualify to purchase, but you can't re-sell them for more than you bought them for. I've always made too much money to qualify, even right out of undergrad with a BS.


What's hilarious is that I make six figures, but because I have two kids and my wife is a stay-at-home mom, I'm "poor" enough to qualify.

However, like all programs like this that are a stupid fucking band-aid for NIMBY assholes interfering with the free market, they are neverr enough. It's an incredibly long line of people trying to get each home, and might as well be a lottery. These programs don't help the people they claim to. They are nothing more than ways for rich hippies to feel a little better after they vote for policies that set de-facto financial segregation firmly into place.


I recently moved back to the area from NorCal. Initially, 40% of my income was going to rent for a studio on the outskirts of Boulder. It's insane. Now I live with my SO and thankfully that's down to around 15%. I can't even imagine finding a place to buy now.


Someone call the CDC. Whatever California's got appears to be contagious.


I believe most call it "demand".


At one point, tulips were in "demand" as well -- bubbles and other irrational market behaviours are endemic to most economic systems.


You're talking about speculative bubbles. The high housing prices are not driven by speculation, they are driven by supply constraints.

People aren't buying houses to flip in six months, they are buying them to hold onto long-term. It's pretty clear that public policy isn't going to shift towards affordable housing any time soon. So the only options are: continue to pay high rents and wait for people to lose their jobs/homes so they can be bought cheaper, or buy now and hope you don't become one of the former.

If we start seeing houses sold multiple times in the same year, or people starting buying homes that they clearly can't afford, then we have a problem. But I don't see evidence that is where the US is. The housing shortage is ensuring that only those top earners are competing. Price are driven up by the fact that the top 20% of buyers can afford to outspend the bottom 80% on housing by a factor of 5 or more.

An additional $500/mo can cover another 100k for a 30 year mortgage. A couple making around $10k/mo after taxes can spend $5k/mo on a mortgage and still live comfortably while a median income couple earning maybe $4k/mo can only spend $2k/mo before things get tight. So, the high income couple can easily afford a million dollar mortgage, but could stretch that to $1.2MM if they really had to while the median earner can only spend $400k MAX.


I live in Broomfield. It's 100% affordable, and its pleasant. My son likes his schools, and Boulder is a short drive away anytime we want to visit. I see no reason to blow extreme amounts of money on a townhouse so I can have the luxury of having to be stuck in a rich town that excludes poor people for the sake of "open space". Housing policies like Boulder's aren't liberal, they're greedy. But hey, when I take my son hiking in Chattaqua, we get to count how many Tesla Model S and X's we see as a game.


Yeah, inquiring minds would like to know. I'm in Boulder right now for a conference, and looking at Zillow, it's f'ing insane. Prices seem to start at $1M.


Lived in Boulder County for 15 years until I got married and moved south of Denver.

Boulder itself has ALWAYS been expensive (even when I was in college in the early 90s) for housing. If you're serious about relocating, look at some less insane, but very close communities that the majority of the "Boulderites" live in:

NORTH: - Longmont - Gunbarrel

EAST: - Louisville - Lafayette - Erie

SOUTHEAST-ish: - Broomfield - Westminster - Northglenn - Thornton

You can have a "reasonable" commute, and a less insane house price in those areas. They are all bedroom communities for the area... Personally, I lived in Louisville and Lafayette at least half of my time in the county (the other in Boulder proper, renting, always).

There are always options.


Yeah I'm finding it's basically impossible to purchase a house inside the city limits. Last weekend I saw an 850k two bedroom cottage on a half acre in Boulder, and a three bedroom (nearly twice as large, had a full basement) house on a full acre near downtown Longmont right off the BOLT line for 400k. It's not worth the price to live in Boulder when I can live 20 minutes away with enough room. Plus Longmont has fiber!


Buying inside of Boulder is a bit insane right now, hell most of Colorado is, and it's just amplified by the lack of supply in Boulder (no new building for 20-30 some years I think).

Check out Gunbarrel, it's about 7 minutes away from Boulder and is still somewhat reasonable. Although my SO bought her 30yr old condo for $165K in the Fall of 2014 and Zillow is now saying 302K, LOL.


It's still hard to get good Internet in many rural-ish areas, which makes this really hard. I tried, multiple times.

We were supposed to get a modern "rural electrification project" in the 90s for broadband, but cable companies stole the money, aided and abetted by Congress.


> It's still hard to get good Internet in many rural-ish areas, which makes this really hard. I tried, multiple times.

Depends, REI has better internet for ND than anything I've seen elsewhere. Some of the rural telephone companies do quite well. Its really luck of the draw.

> We were supposed to get a modern "rural electrification project" in the 90s for broadband, but cable companies stole the money, aided and abetted by Congress.

The key part of the last bill that killed it was the requirement that "broadband speeds" were not available in an area. The bill didn't specify a minimum price or that its was universal to the area. So, it pretty much killed a lot of attempts because broadband is available for $1,000 a month.


This is changing somewhat now with the advent of WISP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_Internet_service_prov...

My parents are just about to install an 80' tower on their rural property, because a local WISP is the only unmetered option available.

I feel like the cellular revolution has really crippled itself by virtue of nearly all "cellular wifi hot spot" plans being data capped to some number of GB per month. There's just so much culture I can't share with my parents if they can't spare the data to watch online video.

This situation becomes only more frustrating each time you hear about a provider upgrading their network to an even faster technology. "Cool, so now I can exhaust my monthly data plan in... 10 minutes?".

(Somewhat similar to the frustration of seeing Apple make thinner and thinner devices, rather than throwing in a bigger battery -- is this really what your customers want?)


My experience with a local WISP was so-so. Perhaps there are better technologies now, but what mine used was a white labeled version of the Motorola Canopy PMP (point to multi-point)

I was told 8mbs down and 2mbs up. That worked great for about 6 months and then it started to degrade month by month. I assume as more people subscribed to the service. By the end of 3 years I was only getting about 2mbs down and 700kbs up. (at 3am I might get 5/1). Worked ok for browsing facebook, but the main issue was really bad packet loss on the upstream end.

Through reading many of the administrator manuals for the antennas I found online, I came to the conclusion that it was just bad technology and exacerbated by inappropriate default settings. The gist of the way the canopy protocol works is that it is very easy for the AP to transmit data to an end point. The problem is how the data is transmitted to the AP from the customer end point device.

It must first send a request to send (RTS) and then wait for the OK. By default the AP's are set to 10 miles line of sight, which adds in even more delay for the timings. The end result is for a busy AP, most of the RTS requests will be ignored. Which works ok for browsing the net, but I was getting 5-20% packet loss on upstream, which basically meant talking to people on my voip office phone sounded fine to me, but people on the other end only heard bits and pieces of what I was saying. Trying to VPN into work was very painful too.

I dealt with that for 3 years before I finally realized that ATT had 6mbs dsl for $60 a month. I switched and was so happy.


WISP quality is very uneven. It's rare to find one that has the right combination of business acumen, network engineering, and rf engineering to run successfully...

IME when correctly configured Canopy is one of the most robust last mile fixed-wireless systems on the market (though LTE may change that), but it has to be configured correctly.

The main feature of Canopy is GPS synchronization of tx/rx timeslots so you can reuse spectrum. A lot of WISPs bought it for that and then never changed settings because they didn't understand how the sync worked and didn't want to change a setting that alters timeslots and break sync. Never mind that there is a built-in calculator to help you figure that out...

Getting 5-20% packet loss upstream indicated they were doing something terribly wrong. Perhaps they screwed up timeslots and the AP received interference from other APs causing errors when listening for your SM, perhaps they didn't add control frames after their subscriber count significantly increased, or they simply oversubscribed the AP. The most widely deployed Canopy version (gen2 PMP100, came out in 2004 and still widely deployed) could handle up to 10Mbps down & 4Mbps up. Selling 8M/2M plans on that platform is a bit ambitious but unfortunately all too common.


> It's still hard to get good Internet in many rural-ish areas, which makes this really hard. I tried, multiple times.

Try rural Sweden.


I guess it depends on how rural you are and the companies that service the area. For as much as Comcast deserves its hate they provide my parents in rural MA with fast cable internet. We weren't even able to get cable when I was growing up there and part of their road is still dirt.


> We were supposed to get a modern "rural electrification project" in the 90s for broadband, but cable companies stole the money, aided and abetted by Congress.

This is sad but not unexpected since politics and big companies play in this space.


Do we need good internet? Most of the time we're dealing with text (code, email, irc) etc. It seems like most of the work could be done over dial up with the occasional trip to somewhere with faster internet.


>> Personally, I dislike places where people are provincial and close-minded, so I'll stick to the rural countryside and leave SF to the bigots.

>I visit some of those places and many have a beautiful setting, everyone knows each other, there is a sense of a community. It is quiet.

Depending on what part of the country you're talking about, many of those beautiful small communities are very bigoted also -- and not just in the South.


And the south isn't bigoted in the ways many people assume.

There are absolutely small towns where open discrimination is a problem. And there are absolutely small minded jerks that have a problem with people of color.

But what I've observed personally living in the south and travelling the country is that the south is often less functionally segregated than other areas of the country. It's sheer demographics if nothing else; when the population of many major southern cities are majority minority, then it's difficult for people to avoid living and working next to each other.

Where the dynamic gets really interesting because of all this is with people that want to fight inequality, but don't realize that they have a massive blindspot when it comes to what functional racism looks like because they don't actually live in functionally diverse environments.


>There are absolutely small towns where open discrimination is a problem. And there are absolutely small minded jerks that have a problem with people of color. Eh, IMO it's still more palatable than a whole metropolitan area that prides itself on superficial diversity PCism.

>But what I've observed personally living in the south and travelling the country is that the south is often less functionally segregated than other areas of the country. It's sheer demographics if nothing else; when the population of many major southern cities are majority minority, then it's difficult for people to avoid living and working next to each other.

Functional racism (or any other "ism" tends to follow groups with enough wealth to insulate themselves from people who are different and people who have so little that they need to be reassured that no matter how little they have they're always better than someone.

>Where the dynamic gets really interesting because of all this is with people that want to fight inequality, but don't realize that they have a massive blindspot when it comes to what functional racism looks like because they don't actually live in functionally diverse environments.

This. It's like a bunch of 5th graders debating foreign policy.


"And the south isn't bigoted in the ways many people assume."

Only if there was some sort of a "survey" on people's attitudes in different parts of the country. Perhaps people with competing ideologies would represent one side or another and then the general public would decide to pick one of those choices to represent the majority view from that area. This way we'd actually know what a majority of the population in a given state/region believes.

Of course it would suck for the reputation of a certain part of the country where bigoted, white supremacist people keep getting the majority votes year after year, decade after decade. But I guess that reputation would be well deserved if those representatives keep winning so consistently for so long a time.


What people believe isn't always what people DO. When I lived in Texas for 7 years I was surprised to find that Texans can make fun of "beaners" and then respect their work ethic and hire them over "lazy white people who want to get paid more."

It's a mix that requires. A different lense that most don't have.

I grew up in liberal DC, and then went to texas. I'm now up north again, but my view of the south has changed dramatically.


I just want you to know that you've highlighted my point far better than I did.

From the responses I've gotten, I feel like people think I'm saying the south doesn't have very real problems with race. It does. But the daily reality is much closer to what you're describing.


"What people believe isn't always what people DO."

I wish I could 1984 myself this throughly. My life will get so much easier.


You've pretty much entirely missed my point.

I explicitly acknowledged that there are absolutely still real problems with race in the south. Things like the state of Alabama implementing voter ID laws and then shutting down DMV offices in poor black counties absolutely happen.

But what I was talking about was functional racism in terms of daily life. While many southerners absolutely say and support shitty things, it's not on the level of mid 20th century Jim Crow and other parts of the country aren't the relative panacea they perceive themselves to be. In completely functional terms, many of those areas are more racially segregated and/or isolated than the south.

Again, when demographically many cities are majority minority, there's more of an intermixing by necessity. That leads to blindspot in perspective of people that don't live in those environments that they don't even realize they have.

It's not limited to race; there's a similar very real problem in the media business where there's an inherent bias toward jobs going to the children of already affluent families that academically understand poverty, but don't fully understand how poverty functionally affects people because it's never been an inherent part of their lives.


"Things like the state of Alabama implementing voter ID laws and then shutting down DMV offices in poor black counties"

"But what I was talking about was functional racism in terms of daily life"

I think you're the one missing the point here. If disenfranchising a large part of the population based on their race, by politicians who more or less campaign on this sort of platform (though in coded language) and win elections repeatedly is not "functional racism", I don't know what is. And of course you know very well that voting rights is not an isolated case of the racism exhibited by southern states.

That is not to say that only the southern states have racist people but what this sort of blatant, racist policy-making at the highest level is signalling to people of minority races is to stay away from those states altogether if you can. There's a reason immigrant communities are strongest in states like California and NewYork and not Alabama or Mississippi.


> And the south isn't bigoted in the ways many people assume

Is it "assuming" when you base your opinion on things said by federal courts?


I'm from Chicago, which isn't a small town and isn't in the south, and the federal courts have had plenty to say. What have the federal courts had to say about every small town in the south again?


This entire subthread is just stereotype bingo. Small communities are numerous and diverse.


Agreed. That's a good point. Quite often poverty makes the situation worse, it radicalizes people and enhances the bigotry.


Poverty isn't tied directly to bigotry. Rather, a lack of new ideas and mindsets in close proximity can present an environment conducive to the development of bigotry (or its less malicious cousin, ignorance).


Believing that no matter how bad your life is you're still better than someone else by virtue of race becomes more tempting the closer you are to rock bottom.


What data are you basing this claim on?


Well that disagrees with what I have seen. You can say it is correlation and that those are somehow born with the biggot gene can't escape poverty. I think it works the other way, poverty amplifies and accentuates biggotry, rasim, sexims and any other -ism.

This is based on living in other countries, mostly in US though, in both poor and rich communities, some were diverse poor and diverse rich.


Anecdotal evidence is a poor basis for an argument.


If I could get a reliable car so I could get to a metro when I needed to see an endocrinologist I would definitely do my work remotely from a rural community. I know that parts of Kansas have FTTH (it's not gigabit but it's reliable and has no datacaps) which are very cheap to live in.

Edit: It looks like Nex-Tech now offers gigabit internet. It's around $200 a month with cable and phone but to be fair it's rural Kansas. I use to pay $65 for their 10/5 when that was the mid-tier Internet only package. So they've really improved their service.


Depending on where you start you could easily save $200 in housing by moving to a rural area.


I have business class internet in a rural community in Tx. Advertised speed in 10/2 but I usually get around 20/2 for $100/month. It is fixed wireless.


Is this high price due to rural or is it normal range for the U.S? In Mumbai India I pay about 30USD a month for 50/5 and there are fibre providers in places like Bangalore that are much cheaper.


Rural is usually higher in my experience. Especially if you live very far from any small city (25k-100k) like where I lived in western Kansas. It was jarring when it came to prices on everything from groceries to utilities. It's still cheaper on the whole if you have a reasonable salary (50-60k is the minimum IMO). The only big down side I think to rural communities in the US is the extreme isolation due to physical distance between towns and cities which is why so many people avoid them. IMO, if you go rural in the US it's best to pick a smaller town that's no more than 250 miles away from a metro. Getting any further away is just asking for cabin fever (if you grew up in any sizable city).


it's happening more and more as the 90s and 00s veterans get older and want more land/space/whatever.

the recent trend in insane housing prices has definitely accelerated it, just from my circle of anecdotes.


Working in SV, quite honestly the best member of my team is >40 (I'm in my late 20's). I don't understand ageism at all, experience really makes the job easier and I value that wealth of knowledge as a more junior dev


I'm not surprised by your comment - I never got the feeling younger developers were the source of age discrimination.


The best team composition is an age of ranges, spanning 20 years- eg: early twenties to late 40s. (I wouldn't turn down an engineer older than that though, of course). And ranges of experiences. You need diversity to refine the ideas before committing them to code. Often the younger guys are faster at producing features, but produce lower quality code while the older guys understand architecture but aren't as fast at executing it. Both is a good combo.

I think a lot of the startup failures of really early stage startups might be due to the entire team being exactly the same age and right out of college. So they make mistakes that have been made many times before. Put another way there are many mistakes that can kill you and the more experience you have on your team the better you are at identifying them-- but you have to have innovation and new ideas too.

Which is not to say that any of these sets of characteristics are exclusive to a specific age -- this is just generalizations.


> while the older guys understand architecture but aren't as fast at executing it

It's the older women who rock both architecture and quick execution. :) ("I'm sorry, but you opened the door, counselor")

Age does not immediately confer advantages or disadvantages - we just often use it as a proxy for "experienced", "more methodical", "slower", "inflexible", "good mentor". (Your pick here)

All of those are independent of age. Please don't compose a team by age. (Speaking as an older person. I bring a lot of things to the table, but my birthdate isn't one of them)


You can't have 30 years of experience when you're 20 years old. You're unlikely to have 15 years experience when you're 20 years old, and you're certainly going to have a different perspective when you're more years into programming, which has good and bad aspects.

Like I said, you want diversity of ages. I'm in my late 40s, I work with 20 year olds and 30 year olds and a guy whose even a fair bit older than me.

Hire the best people first, then make your team diverse, both across thinking and across ages and across everything else.

But there's a synergy I've noticed more than once when pairing a 40ish with a 20ish. OR even a 20ish, 30ish and 40ish three person team.

I'm obviously not (and it should be clear in the above message) calling for quotas, but it's a good goal.

Homogenity reduces ingenuity.


You can't have 30 years of experience in your job when your job didn't exist 30 years ago.

You can't have 15 years of experience in [whatever thing] when [whatever thing] didn't exist 15 years ago.

Note: 15 years ago = 56k internet, paying by the hour, for the 0.xyz% of select few people on the planet


Except it probably did. 15 years ago I'd been working mostly online for nearly 10 years. Sure the world was a different place when newsgroups were uucp over a (very expensive) 64k leased line and before the web, but still surprisingly recognisable.

Some of the details have changed, the languages, the size of the databases, the devices involved, and a million frameworks for front end have come and gone.

Some of the time 20 years experience feels like 4 years experience repeated 5 times with different buzzwords. The same screw ups, the same lack of understanding from missing the same point, the same management wish to do SEO and security later. Or to budget 2 weeks for bug fixing.

Now you know 5-10 languages all with good and bad points so tune out most of the zealotry of the latest fashion to try and get to real distinguishing points.

All that experience can help a lot. It's far from dead. We can even have the same emacs vs vim argument that happened in 1990.


I think this attitude is the crux of the ageism problem: "Your experience is irrelevant because this shiny new technology didn't exist 20 years ago"


I never said that the experience is irrelevant.

To quote the other comment: "20 years experience feels like 4 years experience repeated 5 times with different buzzwords".

There are two things which come to mind and that I'd like to point out.

- Each 4 year cycle is bringing less and less experience. The guy who is starting now is going to work for at least 45 years. We could say that it will be a tremendous amount of experience, but it's more likely than he will not be able to sell > 30 years of experience. [it's challenging and not specific to tech work]

- There exist no people with > 30 years of experience. That's not to negate the handful of these guys in the SV and a couple of research centers across the world. Relatively speaking, the amount of people with 30 years of experience is roundable to zero.

- Corollary: It's difficult to know what it's like to have 30 years of experience in the current market.

- Final word: Shiny technologies are only affecting the 20 years old bro coders in the 70 hours web startups. The bunch of the jobs are still in old school industries like medical/aerospace/finance/government/contracting who stick to old school tech and never upgrade.


The "Bay Area scene" is also pretty bad at figuring out that a lot of their problems only exist in the Bay Area. Although they're doing a heck of a job importing their horrible toxic culture up here to Seattle.


Don't forget Colorado. Texas is taking longer but obviously a larger area will take longer to pollute if you do it at a fixed rate.


I am curious, though, when you say "they" are importing their horrible toxic culture, who are you referring to? Not individuals necessarily, but are you referring to all San Franciscans, including those who were priced out of their childhood neighborhoods and are looking for somewhere else to live?


Valley CS geeks, of course.


I wish I could upvote this 1,000,000 times. This is absolute truth!


Seconded. I operate out of rural Arizona and travel to California (where my business is located) as needed. Thirty second commute, time with my family, and the opportunity to interact with people whose lifestyle concerns actually seem grounded in reality.

You couldn't pay me enough to live in a place like SF.


Ditto that. I also live in AZ.

I'm curious; where in rural Arizona are you based off ?


I am in Apache County.


I work from home four days a week and commute one day - usually around 2 hours round trip.

I get paid less at this job than I would if I was willing to commute to the city where my office is located. But I consider the mental and emotional benefit of not having that daily grind to be worth more than the wage gap.

I greatly prefer to slow pace of country life after a day working, whether at home or in the office. The technology industry is stressful enough without the added stress of city dwelling, in my opinion.


This is my same exact scenario as well. I have free range animals and occasionally a rooster will be right next to my office window and start crowing while on a call. I could make much more if I took a job in the city but that would be a 2 hour commute everyday. I get to have lunch with my family 4 days a week.


I'm in a very similar situation; I live on a island in western Canada, on a farm, and contract remotely. I don't have the extreme cost of living like our nearest city (Vancouver, BC), and being remote, no one cares about how old I am, they care that I can get the job done.


Absolutely agreed. Having lived all over the US, it seems to me that the places that are the most discriminatory and insular in practice are those that pride themselves on being inclusive in theory. NYC and SF have huge cultures of identity politics, with the end result that it's very clique-dominated and exclusive. NYC also has a very money-oriented social stratification. On the other hand, if you go to rural Montana, this sort of thing doesn't exist. The only "cliques" that exist might be e.g. what church you go to, but I was never judged negatively for not going to church. They just don't have the population density to be that picky about social circles, even if they wanted to be.


I don't agree, NYC and SF are vastly different. Most of the articles about ageism that have surfaced lately are about ageism in the Valley. For the most part this stuff doesn't fly in New York City.


Sad but true.


Problem with your solution is that you already now people, if you don't you have to rely on websites like freelancer that pretty much are the same as paid-to-win-the-bid in modern mobile video games and it's sad when people all over the world bid really low those making the website effectively racist regarding devs that to this for living instead of side jobs.


Also, the way to compete with someone who's charging $10/hr for crappy code is to do what they can't or won't do:

* be an excellent communicator * be high bandwidth. F2F, skype, etc. * be a whole stack developer * manage "up". Think of things before your manager does, alert the manager to dangers and problems, give expert advice, avoid the problems. Managers love people who solve the total problem; they hate people who solve one very very narrow niche problem and then leave them (the manager) dealing with a leaky bag of shit. Saying "well, that wasn't in scope!" does not make them happier about holding the leaky bag.

I guarantee you that no one bidding $5/hr and working on a timezone 12 hours away delivers this.

So, to recap:

1) work in a city when young 2) make contacts 3) be good at what you do 4) manage up ; solve the REAL problem

Do that and you'll have lots of work and make good money.


> * be high bandwidth. F2F, skype, etc. *

I agree, and I hate it. What happened to the days when I could just be productive? Now, I have to spend hours "working as a team" (ie, socializing) on Slack. I hate it so much that I've dramatically cut down on the work I do. It's not that I'm asocial, it's just that I don't want to be exchanging memes when there's work to be done. I want to do the work, and do it well, so I can spend time with my wife and kids. Work for work, socializing for after work.

Even with IRC, it didn't use to be like this. What happened?

For the record, I'm not talking about being responsive, or good communications. That's critical. I've always responded to client emails within 2-3 hours (I break up my day into 3 email checks). But I find it impossible to get much done with teams that expect me to hang out in Slack or Hipchat all day long. But the younger kids love it. Maybe they code and chat at the same time, I don't know. I can't do it.

Doesn't anyone just hire people to do a job anymore? Are even contractors doomed to spending their days "meshing"?


Another annoying trend is only offering remote workers half vacation as the other half is 'a paid company retreat with the team!'. I do not want to ride bikes or go sailing with my coworkers and boss in Thailand for 2 weeks I want time off to see my family.


Ask your manager to have a couple days out of the week where you can "go dark" and focus on projects.


Yeah, I did that when I worked remotely as an employee for a company. They didn't like it, particularly my boss's boss, and it definitely only served to make the younger developers who quite literally live and socialize on Slack more wary of me (because of course if you're not online, you're not really working, right? Even if you're producing results.)

What I'm talking about now is working as a contractor/freelancer for short-term projects, like even as short as 3-4 week projects. Most of the good freelance jobs expect you to be on Slack coordinating with their team in Eastern European country X. It really didn't use to be like this, I used to be able to make good money as a freelancer just coordinating with other freelancers and the contracting company/individual a few times a day. And in my opinion, it worked a lot better. Yeah, the irresponsible devs can't screw around as much if someone's keeping tabs on Slack, but the productive ones are significantly less productive this way. And why would you hire a remote freelancer you didn't trust to do the work?

And jobs that are paid per job and not per hour aren't any better, in my experience. Everyone has to be online, checking in, chatting, exchanging memes.

Maybe I've just had a streak of bad luck this year, but it definitely seems to be a significant trend.

I don't know, maybe I need to make a concerted effort just to work for small businesses, and not start-ups or mid-sized companies.


Yep. Yep. Yep. Agreed.


timezone 12 hours away from where? US?


SE Asia/Australia are 8-16 hours ahead of either Europe or the US.


Everyone knows someone. Build on that.

You work with people. Those people know people. They know other people. Someone says 'I need a good PHP guy' and a guy in the network replies 'I know a guy, SadWebDeveloper - here is his email address'. Boom: you have made contact with someone who wants to hire you.

Join the Whatever User Group in your area. Go to the meetings - introduce yourself. Be a presence on their mail list. Boom: more networking contacts.

This is a really good example. TJIC and I have talked on the internet for -years- via email and twitter and blog. A customer of mine mentioned she was looking for a local developer (Los Angeles) but couldn't find anyone who met even her minimal standards.

I said 'Hey, I know a guy', he lives 8,000 miles away, he's about a hermit and a half, and he knows his sh*t' and a few weeks later TJIC got some months of work and everyone was happy.

And now, here we are, talking. Maybe I can be converted to a networking contact. You never know, hunh?


> Everyone knows someone

No they don't. And your solution to not being stuck with closed and insular groups is join some closed and insular groups so that your name can be passed around as one of the group.


If you want to be miserable and ineffective, you can be.

All you have to do is set your mind to it.

...and you're doing a great job so far!


mhurron has a valid point and it is worth considering beyond him//her "doing a great job so far" being "miserable and ineffective".


I downvoted mhurron, I found it a fatalistic response that isn't constructive or helpful. Even if you feel you don't know anyone, you have to put effort in to meeting people. Here's three ways I got remote work before I knew anyone:

* I emailed a band I liked whose song was featured as Demo Of The Month in a magazine, asking to buy all their CDs. We kept in touch, and months later they asked me for some (free) advice about setting up their website. Later again, one of their friends was looking to hire someone & they recommended me - I worked remotely for them for 10 years.

* I wrote a script in PHP and made both a free version & a paid version, then mentioned it on a forum. I got a handful of sales, but one of those customers liked the code quality so much they asked if they could hire me for contract work. That work was done remotely too.

* I went to a blogger conference overseas & before I went I made a Twitter list of all the attendees, read their tweets and made online friends with a few who I found interesting. I met some of them at the conference, and one of them I kept in touch with for a year after the conference. We grabbed some coffee when they visited my city, I mentioned I was having a slow work period, they mentioned they needed someone technical, and we worked together for a couple of years. Again, mostly remote work (though I did fly to their offices every few months).

Instead of being negative, plant the seeds now. Start making friends, keep those friendships alive, keep letting people know what you do, keep creating proof that you're good at what you do (even if it's your own projects). It's a long process and it still won't guarantee you work, but it will give you a much better chance of offers coming your way. That's what worked for me anyway.


I sympathize with mhurron. It's not as simple as 1. Network 2. ??? 3. Endless flow of opportunities. Your examples are great, but they represent an extremely fortuitous outcome from networking. Networking's down side is that it's not deterministic, and you could just as easily network forever and NOT get lucky: ending up with simply a contact list full of people who can't help you.


> That's what worked for me anyway.

Therefore it works for everyone.

There are lots of people that do not make friends easily. There are lots of people that do not have friends in the industry that they work in. There are lots of people that have moved very far away from any friends once or many times in the past few years and have either completely lost contact or don't have friends that would be in any position to throw other contacts your way.

So no, it is not just go make friends and everything will be great.


I added "that's what worked for me anyway" as a disclaimer that maybe it won't necessarily work for you. But they are some tactics you can try. The general idea was to try lots of tactics, assume 99% of them won't work, but maybe 1% of the time you'll discover something that works for you.


A closed and insular group is not something that he would be able to join so easily. In his example, the group is neither closed nor insular.


> > Everyone knows someone

> No they don't.

Could be you are a deaf and mute yak herder in Outer Mongolia and suffer the heartbreak of psoriasis. Your situation is unique and you have my pity.

For those of us in the mart of competitive commerce there is no possible way a person can exist in this economy without knowing people.

> join some closed and insular groups

You have no idea what you are talking about.

You have my pity.


Knowing people happens after 20 years in the industry.

It may very well be that the best way to kick start your career is to move to SF or some other big city. So be it. I did the first 20 years of my career in the Boston area.

I have no idea what you mean about websites being racist. For picking lower cost developers? It seems odd to call people who give work to people in other countries "racist". Isn't doing that exactly the opposite of racism?


Just try to win a project on any modern "freelancing" website and you will understand... personally i used to make solid money on Rent-A-Coder even before getting my CS degree and when they sell us to Freelancer, i started losing bids and the great bids were "closed" to only accept bid "first world developers" (ie US Developers) or limited to people that already paid for the website membership to get in so pretty much any bid today had like 20 indian developers working for 5c/hour.


Re-read my statements above.

I'm telling you not to use those websites.

Move to the city, make contacts, do good work.


So why not pay for a membership if it gets you access to more exclusive contracts?

Or establish relationships with people instead of lowest common denominator platforms and let the quality of your work sell itself?

Word of mouth and personal recommendations are worth more than how many stars you are on a platform.


I never had any problem finding serious gigs on freelancer.com. Advertise your rate (in my case 70-100$/h depending on the technology), without bowing down to the $10/h bids. Just the fact that you can write a grammatically correct sentence in your bid, with a few questions showing that you know what the problem is about, is enough to get you a solid gig. If people don't hire you because you are too expensive / think they can get away with a cheaper bid, you don't want to work for them. Now, there are obviously a lot of great programmers living in places with lower living costs, but they are already buried in projects anyway. I usually find a good "day" gig in about 1-2 h on freelancer. Do two or three of those, with clients who turn out to be solid, intelligent and paying promptly, and you most probably found a reliable pipeline of work.


"making the website effectively racist regarding devs"

Just so your communication skills improve, discrimination is not the same as racism.


On this different topic:

I got a lot more relaxed about language after reading numerous books by linguists (because that is their attitude, they just watch what is going on). In this context, I think the train has left the station (as we Germans say, "der Zug ist abgefahren") and "racist" now indeed has a new much wider meaning in public discourse contexts. It now seems to include "being different", in not necessarily clearly defined ways, the exact nature of the differences are to be taken from context.

I could just yesterday or today read about "racism" in a Guardian article about an attack on a Polish immigrant somewhere in Britain, who certainly wasn't of a different race [0]. However, I'm very relaxed about it - everybody knows what is meant. Also, a shift in meaning in some context does not mean the stricter meaning of the word is lost! The exact same people who may use a word loosely in one context use it with its strict meaning in a different one. If you start talking about biology this will happen. Words and language are extreme flexible, and such a change is not the end of the world.

I think their is some justification: When the word is used in such wider meaning it's more about the effect, not the cause.

My motto for language is the same as in programming: Be as lenient as possible with input - but be strict about output. In the language context that means I won't criticize when I actually clearly understand the meaning, but I myself try to use the right expressions, grammar, punctuation, etc.

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/12/polish-man-a... (sub-headline: "...they are treating incident ... as racially aggravated")


"...they are treating incident ... as racially aggravated"

The term is used because the person being attacked was thought of as being of a different "race" by their racist attackers (and because that's the reason he was attacked; bot for being non-heterosexual, or for being a fan of the wrong football team). Not because one is in agreeance with the alleged "racial" distinctions (in the mind of the racist).

BTW:

der Zug ist abgefahren

In English one would say "the horse has left the barn."


> In English one would say "the horse has left the barn."

At least in my native English speaking world, we also say "that train has left the station". It's even listed as a cliche on a MetaFilter page on cliches and hackneyed sayings[0].

We also say "that ship has sailed".

0. http://ask.metafilter.com/177148/Thats-so-cliche


Heavens, you got me there.

But the cat's out of the bag now, so what can I do?


    > Not because one is in agreeance with the alleged "racial" distinctions
That's what I said, the word is being used with a different/wider meaning and not with that narrower original meaning.

    > (in the mind of the racist)
I doubt the attackers thought of the Polish person as of a different "race" as in the biological meaning of that word. Same thing, shift of meaning of the word.


I doubt the attackers thought of the Polish person as of a different "race" as in the biological meaning of that word.

That's the thing -- "race" doesn't really have a biological meaning. If anything it's just a vague suspicion that certain people are inferior or "alien" because of their DNA, the breeding, or simply their cultural upbringing. Of course it's all invented tripe, and biologically speaking it's equally untenable (from a biological point of view) to think of Poles, Anglo-Saxons and Italians as being of different "races" than it to think of Africans or East Asians in those terms.

But racists aren't the smartest bunch, you know, so in fact that's pretty much exactly what they think.


    > "race" doesn't really have a biological meaning
Please work with me. Communication requires willing partners, I don't know where you want to take this sub-thread? I know "race" does not exist - and yet we did (and do) have the word. We were talking about language and meanings, not truth. Enough people did (and do) associate a biological meaning - what an actual geneticist has to say about that is besides the point.

And now the meaning of that word has shifted. That is all I said.


How is the website racist?


I'm 27 now. My biggest fear is to not succeed in my career by the time I turn 40.

The idea of having to give up working on my startup goals after 20 years of continuous failure is in itself terrifying enough - But combine that with the fact that I might be penniless; forced to join a mega-corporation to become corporate cattle.

... In a company filled with arrogant lucky people in their 20s bossing me around. I couldn't take it.

I fear the next generation. I think MY generation is already so arrogant - We severely underestimate the value of experience.

I was one of the few people lucky enough to learn that lesson early though.

I once worked with a lady (a software engineer) who was in her early 40s and she always said that she never really cared much about her work. She always left work on the dot.

I was 21 at the time and I had been working like crazy since I was 14 but even back then it was clear that she was a much better software engineer than I was. For me, my career was the center of my life; for her, it was just a way to pay the mortgage.

In spite of what the media tries to tell us; 7 years of obsessive, passionate labour is not more valuable 22 years of 'bare minimum' labour. That's how valuable time is.


>Personally, I dislike places where people are provincial and close-minded, so I'll stick to the rural countryside and leave SF to the bigots.

You hate where people are close-minded so you're _sticking_ with the countryside..? It's possible that NH countryside is different than the other small towns I've visited, but I have zero data points on that. Another discussion, another day.

I lived in SF for five years and performed a couple of hundred interviews for the companies I consulted with. Software engineers have the capability to produce millions of dollars in profits with the right product. People can quickly get over prejudices if they think you will be able to produce that million dollar product.

Keeping up with the startup Jones's is about relevancy. No one wants a senior engineer barking at them babbling about how "Smalltalk did the same thing 20 years ago and now we're just reinventing the wheel!".

Do yourself a favor in the interview; do a bake off of old style vs new stack implementations. Compare and contrast. It shows your vast knowledge. And it quickly graduates you from grumpy old programmer to a mentor for the entire team.

New web/mobile based companies start all the time in SF, and with each new fresh start comes the chance to wipe the slate clean and choose a newer stack that may provide a competitive advantage. Reactjs with redux right now, but probably something different in a year. New companies. New choice of stacks, all the time. The tides change quickly in SF.

If you've been turned down by a Bay Area startup, I guarantee it's much less to do with your lack of skinny jeans or because you have some grey hairs..

P.S. Also, you're a consultant. You obviously have an understanding of client relationships. Understand that your clients in SF are going to skew younger. One of my best friends was the CTO of a startup where the founder was 20. He was 45.

You may have a team of fresh-out-of-Berkley-engineers and that's it. If you're not comfortable in a mentor setting, you may also get rejected. At a later stage in your career and with a young team, you're expected to contribute more than code.


> Also, you're a consultant. You obviously have an understanding of client relationships. Understand that your clients in SF are going to skew younger. One of my best friends was the CTO of a startup where the founder was 20. He was 45.

This is only true for startups and other companies that have small budgets or need cheap labor. If you are going after the high paying contracts you'll quickly learn that being 45 or older is often an advantage if you have the necessary experience. (not just technical skill but also social skill)

These corporations aren't going to allow a 25 year old consulter to come in and take lead of a team or a product. (except if the person shows truly remarkable skill)

If they hire young consulters it usually means they want someone that is cheap to hire and easy to fire.


Like there are no bigots in NH. When I lived in Central NH I had a long hair and almost got run out of town for being a "fucking long haired hippie"


When I lived in central NH there was someone who lived in the town who proudly drove a white sedan covered in racial epithets using magic marker and scratched into the paint. A hangman's noose was scratched into the trunk along with the phrase "linch all n* * * *rs".

Naturally that's just the most extreme example; far more commonplace was casual ignorant small-talk generalizing about "the blacks"/"the coloreds"/"the hispanics" in gas stations/convenience stores/the barber/etc. And the soft bigotry of low expectations absolutely permeated an area where people could and did go months, years without seeing a nonwhite individual in person.


I have often had the urge to hang numbers. They are problems looking for a place to happen. Letters, on the other hand, are always ready for a chat. ;-)


The asterisks got eaten in my post, fixed that. To be clear, there were no asterisks on the car. And it wasn't funny.


I'm sorry you understood me to be having fun with - when I was making fun of. When I was a kid (yes, I'm one of the old ones...) the abbreviation for number was "nr" - plural, "nrs" and lynch, if one intended to hang to death, was spelled with a "y".

You don't have to think I am funny any more than either one of us thought the idiot with the car was funny, but the purposeful, obvious misunderstanding of hate-speak accompanied by finger-pointing and laughter is a valid method of calling out idiots. And I think we can agree that the dude with the car was an idiot.


Well sure, Central NH. Or Northern NH. Or Western NH. But down here on the Seacoast . . . well, that's why I live away from everybody too.


Haha mind if I ask where you were?


> Personally, I dislike places where people are provincial and close-minded, so I'll stick to the rural countryside and leave SF to the bigots.

Mmmhmm, right.

Anyway, I don't think anyone is saying that it's 100% impossible to find tech work if you're 45. I'm sure there is work, and I'm also sure it's the case that Bay area tech is different from elsewhere. But one of those differences is what gets produced- nobody is designing the iPhone outside of SF Bay, to put it bluntly. And it's important that work at that level is not age-discriminatory.

I'm 35, just started at a Bay area company, one that makes really nice products and has some of the best designers anywhere. And I can already see it coming, so many of the people I work with are 25-27. The people who founded this company are a good bit younger than me. The grey hairs are people like the general counsel. Sure, nobody asked my age, and I look younger than I am anyway. But still, I see it coming.


Could it simply be that we hear the most tech career horror stories from the Bay Area because that's the place with the most tech careers? I'd be as hesitant to make generalizations about a place as I would be to make generalizations about an age bracket.


No, because 90% of tech jobs are outside of the Bay Area, but probably 90% of the tech job drama is in the Bay Area.


Me too happy to work for the fed in the mid Atlantic region where the pay is almost as good as the valley and the age ranges from 30 to 65.


Interesting. Someone else recently mentioned remote working being a great antidote to age bias. Contract work also seems to avoid a lot of nonsense.

There's a real irony that tech in "liberal cities" is provincial and close minded and you are avoiding that by being in the country on a farm.


It's the rural countryside around here that put up gigantic Trump posters on their farms, so unless you're talking about some other definition of bigotry, I don't you can generalize "rural" as "not bigoted."

Also: I have never had trouble getting jobs in the Bay Area, though I moved before I turned 45. I did however work with people who were late 40s/early 50s and engineers, so I didn't see a huge age prejudice.


I'd rather keep politics off here, but implying trump=bigoted is a rather SF view :^)


Trump makes bigoted statements. It's not a debate or a "view". It's just a fact.




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