Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit | login

As a small business owner who's done a few successful casting calls, the problem with this article comes down to their first answer:

> Yes, you have quantity, but what about quality? How much time will you spend sorting the wheat from the chaff? How much application spam will you have to review and dispose of? And of the relevant ones, how many under- and over-qualified candidates do you need to sift through because they lacked the vital piece of information that is a salary range?

It's easy: filter the incoming candidates based on who you want to hire. Send your favorite candidates a simple email saying what you want to pay for that position, and ask if they're still interested. Interview the ones that are. (This way, you're not posting the salary number to the public, but you're still filtering candidates quickly and respecting their time.)

If none of your favorite candidates are interested at your targeted price, there's your answer. Either lower your standards and take one of the other applicants, or ask all of your favorite candidates what number it would take to get them interested. (No interviewing - you don't have the right to take up their time until you can come up with the money - you're just asking for the salary number they would need to even step into an interview.) When the numbers come back, that's what it would take to hire your favorite candidates.

-----


This only works if the candidates still apply. A lot of the time I choose not to apply for roles without posted salaries, because there's a good chance I'm either over- or under-qualified for the role. Applying to a job takes time and effort to do properly (and it's worth doing properly).

As other people have said, you can post a range rather than a single number, and that number doesn't have to be 100% ironclad - if a range is 5-10% out for me, I'd probably still apply and try to negotiate - but I'm not going to waste my time applying for jobs only to find out they're offering £50k if I want £100k.

Check out the jobs posted here: http://oxfordknight.co.uk/jobs/

They all have salary ranges, many are quite broad, but it communicates quite clearly the level that both parties should be thinking about when entering into negotiations. So much more useful.

-----


This is the opposite of how a lot of hiring managers I know think.

The tactic they use (how can anyone think this is a good idea...) is to hope by the end of the interview process the candidate will be so attached to the position (or invested at this point! see: throwing good money after bad, or the sunk cost fallacy) to refuse! Or maybe they'll just ask for 5k more, or something.

-----


I would respect a company significantly more if this is how the negotiations started. It addresses their need to determine if their range is on par with the market rate, and it allows both parties to minimize wasted time if they aren't.

Sadly I rarely see this happen in practice. It would be nice to see studies about how this affects the average cost to recruit a new employee.

-----


I have to disagree with this. If you don't do your market research ahead of time and reserve enough space in the budget to close a deal with the person you want, you are wasting the time of everyone who could close such a deal elsewhere.

They are not wasting your time. You are wasting theirs. The candidate cannot reasonably determine how well your company is able to monetize their skills ahead of time. It's the employer's job to figure that out, and offer a reasonable fraction thereof to the employee. The employer should know that the position will be profitable, otherwise advertising it as permanent would be a misrepresentation. If you don't know how technical professionals will make you money (or cut your costs), and to what extent, you have no business hiring them.

That's why whenever a company starts to discuss salary before their goals for the unfilled position and my qualifications, I back away.

-----


> Their current environment required overcoming tremendous technical hurdles on earlier versions of SQL Server

Jeff Atwood's goal was always "performance is a feature," and that means rendering your pages faster than anybody else's. With that in mind, you're always going to have technical hurdles to overcome on any platform - because you want to get faster results than anybody else is getting.

I remember when I first got involved, and Jeff told me something along the lines of, "This slow query runs in ~500ms, and we want it to run in ~50." That statement alone is a huge leap over what a lot of RDBMS users say - usually when people refer to a slow query, their unit of measurement is whole seconds, not milliseconds. They were serious about performance from the get-go.

> Luckily they were able to get the Microsoft SQL team engaged to get them through this.

Nothing against Microsoft - I love 'em dearly and make a great living with their tools - but Stack's success is much more due to their own internal team's dedication to performance. When we open bug requests with Microsoft, the time to resolution is typically measured in weeks or months. During that time, Stack Exchange's team has to come up with creative, impressive workarounds. They're the sharpest SQL Server users I know.

> Finally, their team was world class. BrentOzar, SamSaffron, MarcGravel (and others) are highly respected members of the SQL & .NET community.

Awww, shucks, but I'm not brown-nosing Stack when I say that their current team is ridiculously good. Their Site Reliability Engineers know more about SQL Server than most career DBAs I know.

> I'm not sure many teams would pursue this architecture if they knew the effort (and luck) involved.

It sounds like you're implying that other architectures are faster by default and with less effort, and I would disagree there. I haven't seen any big sites (big being top-100-in-the-world[1] type stuff) where the persistence layer was set-it-and-forget-it. Scale - especially millisecond performance at scale - is seriously hard work on all platforms.

[1] https://www.quantcast.com/top-sites

-----


Thanks for the reply Brent, a few points I should clarify.

> Luckily they were able to get the Microsoft SQL team engaged to get them through this.

Looking at this statement now, I see that it might have appeared that Microsoft 'came to the Stack team's rescue.' My impression was that over time Microsoft alleviated some of the workarounds the SO team was running into.

> I'm not sure many teams would pursue this architecture if they knew the effort (and luck) involved.

I was simply stating that the SO architectural graphic looks deceptively simple and I can only imagine the amount of drama on hardware alone the team went through to achieve their goals. I do believe there are other OSS-based architectures (with likely more layers) that would require less 'workaround' effort to deliver reasonable performance/reliability, but compounded with SO's likely SLA & perf requirements on a closed-source RDBMS? It wouldn't surprise me to see some go 'good enough' and move on. I doubt anything is Ron Popeil easy when your trying to shed milliseconds on a persistence layer.

Hope this clears things up a bit.

-----


I wonder how many hotfixes MS ended up creating for example.

-----


We've only gotten 2 that I can remember in 4 years here. One was a regression in .Net 4.0 with high load hashtable inserts (which was previously fixed in 3.5 SP1) that they had to re-fix. The other was a SQL server issue in 2014 CTP1 we were running with an availability groups edge case on high volume/high latency secondaries.

Unless we're testing beta software, the MS stuff generally works and works very well. We of course work with them on feature requests that will make life better - some happen, some don't. I'm on the opinion you should try and have this relationship with any vendor or open source project. We're trying to make what we use better, and not for just us.

Nick Craver - Stack Exchange SRE

-----


the collective gasp of HN about a very well tuned and performing site on .net stack is pretty disturbing.

-----


> It would also be interesting to know how much it costs them in Microsoft licensing fees.

They started with BizSpark, Microsoft's program for startups that gives you free licensing for a few years. After that, you pay maintenance on what you've got, and buy new things as you add new servers.

-----


StackExchange is a well-known-ish case of "startups can run Windows too". I wonder if they get any leeway on licensing for the PR?

-----


> I wonder if they get any leeway on licensing for the PR?

For production? No. Development machines? They used to.

The best you can hope for these days as a showcase ISV/startup is more direct access to devs, and you'll probably only get that if you are proofing a new system of theirs. Remember, the most likely gospel is that Microsoft is expensive to run - so dropping the licensing cost "for PR" is actually a bad idea.

-----


> > I wonder if they get any leeway on licensing for the PR?

> For production? No. Development machines? They used to.

Development licensing for SQL Server (and most of MS's products) is done through the MSDN program, and it's dirt cheap, and doesn't require any leeway. Anybody can buy MSDN licensing.

For production, everything is negotiable. It's not unusual to get special SQL Server licensing deals when you buy in bulk.

(That's me walking the line between what I can say publicly, and what I can't.)

-----


Correct, Microsoft SQL Server 2014.

-----


> Of course, such a return is actually very hard to maintain over a 300 century timespan.

You mean 3 century timespan, or 300 years. (Although it would be spectacularly difficult over a 300 century timespan.)

-----


Think of Amazon's role as an online merchant: they've built a 3rd party merchant system where other folks can use Amazon's retail and distribution. Then, they gathered centralized data of what sells, at what prices. They stepped in and started carrying more profitable items themselves.

Now, look at their role here: if this takes off, they'll have data on what merchants are selling, for how much, and to whom. These are items that Amazon wouldn't normally get sales data on because people choose local vendors instead.

If Amazon wanted to start pushing more into local markets (or different kinds of products), they can make a fortune off this data, and that's why they can afford to undercut companies like Square. It's a long term play.

-----


What makes you think they are not buying this data already from credit card companies?

-----


IIRC credit card companies don't have that much of this kind of data. For the most part when you pay with a card, the transaction details (for example line-items) are not reported to the cc company or processor.

-----


Credit card companies only know where you are shopping and how much you spend. This gives Amazon product level data.

-----


Precisely. This is deep in the trenches data.

Amazon will gain by knowing what products sell most at what time of the week. It will allow predict where to roll out certain services. One day delivery? Done.

-----


Also, I guess most of the merchants who sign up will be first-timers who accept cash before. Information from these people are what Amazon needs. Let's say in certain region there has been high sales of tea cups, I won't be surprised if one day Amazon starts suggesting its tea cup selections to buyers from that region, with free shipping and lower prices...

-----


For example, by using http://www.datalogix.com/.

-----


Credit card companies do not have this data. They only see the transaction total not the items in the basket.

-----


> If Amazon wanted to start pushing more into local markets (or different kinds of products), they can make a fortune off this data, and that's why they can afford to undercut companies like Square. It's a long term play.

Possibly. Alternatively, Amazon seems to operate under a business model something like: 1) enter an existing market with a product offering that is at best the same as the competition 2) undercut said competition with unsustainable pricing until you drive them all out and have a monopoly 3) raise prices, profit

-----


That isn't a new strategy. Starbucks did it all throughout the 1990s, opening locations sometimes literally on every block of major cities, many of them money-losing. They waited for the existing coffee shops to be driven out of business and then thinned out their locations to a more sustainable density.

-----


Does it? In what market have they done (3)?

-----


They haven't really reached (2) in any market besides books. As dominant as Amazon is, Wal-Mart still towers over them for just about every product category that isn't printed on paper.

I'd argue (3) shouldn't read raise prices - that isn't really Amazon's MO, (3) should read "leverage their de facto monopoly to squeeze suppliers for all they've got, Wal-Mart style". This is certainly happening in books.

-----


They're raising prices on Amazon Prime (and bundling more things I don't want into it, Microsoft-style).

-----


In what market does Amazon Prime compete?

-----


Shipping.

-----


More like the "shipping of amazon products" market, since I can't exactly ship my stuff with Prime. And I'm pretty sure Amazon was always the only provider in that particular market, so they didn't really do (1).

-----


They're only undercutting Square until 2015, after that the fee is 2.75%, same as Square. Read the fine print.

-----


Not quite. The rate after the promo rate is 2.5% which still undercuts Square. The 2.75% rate is for manually Keyed transactions. Also, the promo lasts until 2016, a good amount of time to convince users to switch and then keep them with marginally lower rates.

From the page:

"Sign up by October 31, 2014 to lock in this special rate through December 31, 2015. Pay 2.5% beginning January 1, 2016. Rates apply to all major credit and debit cards."

-----


According to the site it's 2.5% instead of 2.75%.

-----


Until 2016.

-----


> They're only undercutting Square until 2015, after that the fee is 2.75%, same as Square. Read the fine print.

Yes, because Amazon never lowers their prices, do they? Read the news.

-----


Because the person on the other end may not be calling from a secure location.

-----


Or put another way, the other person might be calling from a normal phone.

-----


Yes, for a secure, encrypted phone call, both ends must have equipment that uses the same encryption system, else it's impossible to decrypt what the other end has encrypted and vice versa.

-----


So how do calls between leaders of different countries work? Have all of them agreed upon using the encryption system? Or perhaps they have equipment that can choose which encryption system to use depending on who they are talking to?

-----


If the leaders are important enough, you'll just get a new phone that can talk to theirs. Or a translation server. No need to bother the head-of-state with the technicalities. The point is, there's no reason for there to be a clever, all-in-one solution here, since these are allmost one-off solutions.

-----


That's still a big mystery... but in general, calls between leaders of countries are non-secure. High-level encryption systems are often highly classified, so one country will not easily give such a system to another country. The exceptions are the "hotlines" between a number of countries, where encryption equipment or algorithms are exchanged so a secure connection can be set up.

-----


Before you dismiss it for being too simple, think about the wider audience of startup founders, not just YC readers. They often can't predict churn rates or viral growth timelines or per-user infrastructure costs. This is a great starter model to say, "At the very minimum, you should plan on having $X."

After the first year of doing business (or faster?), you should revisit your model with these kinds of metrics and hone the model, but you usually won't have it going into year 1.

-----


Fully agree. There are so many people who can't do the basic Excel work even to generate the information on the chart who are capable of starting a business. (I include in this every restaurant ever opened, modulo statistical outliers.)

-----


> I don't use Uber, but is it generally cheaper than taxis?

no, generally more expensive, but the product is way better. My girlfriend gets sick with exhaust vapors when typical cheap taxi drivers lave their windows open and insist their AC is broken. Taxi shocks are usually shot, and the ride crashes around on city streets. Uber has nice, comfy, clean, big, air conditioned vehicles. Worth the extra money.

-----


I started to get sick on one of my last Uber rides because the driver had on an absurd amount of cologne. Another had no clue what he was doing and explicitly took the street he was told not to take, getting stuck in the traffic I was hoping to avoid. Some of them are really reckless about driving too, sometimes ignoring posted signs altogether, and I think the only saving grace is that the cars are usually brand new.

I could go on about how much I have a problem with Uber, just like how much I hate taxis. The only nice thing about Uber here is that there's an easy way to get in touch and fix a problem. That for sure, I agree, is worth the cost.

That being said, I've found UberX in SF is cheaper than cabs, so I have even less interest in taking cabs.... but the last few cities I went to like NYC and Miami, the cabs were great. Wish SFMTA would step it up...

-----


Anybody skeptical of Lyft needs to try the service for FREE

1. Download the Lyft app 2. Enter code LOSANGELES (works nationwide) 3. Request and enjoy your FREE ride 4. Repeat on another phone to ride home for free

-----


Just use Google or Bing to search for download SQL Server 2014 Express. The instant download page is the second result, no registration required.

The author's complaining about the marketing pages. Marketing pages are run by marketers, and marketers are trying to get your information. The real download pages (the ones in Google & Bing search results) are run by the technical teams who want to put the product in your hands.

-----


The inevitable "Hacker News Devil's Advocate" post.

Yes, the OP is complaining about marketing pages, because he doesn't want to deal with marketing! He wants the danged download!

If there's something wrong with that, go for it, but having to use Google to get to a download page from a vendor shouldn't be the 'solution'.

-----


> Yes, the OP is complaining about marketing pages, because he doesn't want to deal with marketing!

If you go to Shell.com to buy gas, you're going to be disappointed.

-----


Quite a misleading analogy. If you go to <any site>.com to buy <anything that can't be downloaded or legally mailed to you>, you're going to be disappointed.

Should we have the same expectations for downloadable software that we do for gasoline (or any product that can't be downloaded or shipped)?

I say "no", but that's something we could disagree on.

-----


(Author) Yep there is definitely an instant download page. Strange it's not the #1 result on Google. The #1 result is actually the thing as I've annotated.

-----


> Yep there is definitely an instant download page. Strange it's not the #1 result on Google.

Not strange at all. The #1 page is heavily SEOd by the marketing SEO teams. The technical download pages don't have the luxury of full time SEO teams.

-----


>Not strange at all.

What exactly is the purposes of a marketing team which prevents interested users from using your products?

There is no marketing to be done at that point - the market has already found you.

-----


Think of them more as a sales team than a marketing one, they're trying to upsell you, and presumably it works in enough cases as they keep doing it.

-----


Who are they marketing to though? Do they think someone is going to fall for this trap and call purchasing to get them to just go ahead and purchase it?

-----


It'd only take one to justify it. And even zero isn't necessarily a negative outcome. From the point of view of someone whose performance is measured by the number of commercial SQL Server licenses sold, there's no distinction between someone who gets a copy of SQL Server Express and someone who gives up in frustration and grabs a copy of PostgreSQL instead.

To the company there's absolutely a distinction. And to someone who's playing the long game there's absolutely a distinction. But those are red herrings. This decision's probably being made by someone who's got an annual performance review to worry about.

-----

More

Applications are open for YC Summer 2015

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Y Combinator | Apply | Contact

Search: