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Quick question for the ZenPayroll folks lurking here:

How do you handle situations where there's a lack or breach of trust? If an engineer comes to you saying "After $INCIDENT, I find it hard to trust $COWORKER", what do you do?

Trust is very important & I'm glad to see you've given it an entire slide. I particularly like "There’s little benefit to setting hard deadlines if you know everyone is doing their best".

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That has definitely happened here. And I've personally had my fair share of breaching people's trust. We're human. It happens.

There's no magical solution to fix it. I think the best thing to do is acknowledge it to the person you've violated and tell them you're going to do your best to earn their trust back over time (and actually do it).

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Anything, really. So long as they aren't a dipwad in comments, etc, any information I can glean from a GH profile is a net positive. It's very hard to have a "bad" profile - I don't want to ding candidates for having a life outside of showcasing their work for me.

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Author here. I too, thought that the idea of equity encouraging overtime was foolish until I met several founders promising great success (via equity, of course) if only I worked incredibly long weeks. One even said "If you don't want to work 100+ hour weeks, don't think about responding"

This is a horrific thought. Burnout is a very real thing (as well as career stagnation). I hope we can realize that some founders & managers still think this way.

As to said studies, did you notice the one I talked about near the end? It showed a counterpoint to Dan Ariely's work (which isn't nearly as clear a parallel in this case).

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I'm still amazed anyone wants code in their codebase written by someone on the second or third 100+ hour week. I remember two weeks of 80+ hours as a consultant and the code written at the end was not my best.

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I'd be horrified if anyone receiving a pitch like that didn't utter a bark of derisive laughter and add the person to their spam filter. Those are 'I can't get a job anywhere else' sort of terms.

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>One even said "If you don't want to work 100+ hour weeks, don't think about responding". This is a horrific thought.

Rest assured they are shooting themselves in the foot.

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gtank explains the browser crypto problem well - there are a few issues writing JS crypto on the server though.

I've been going through the CryptoPals challenges with Node.js and have hit a few snags, virtually all of them involving types. I've switched to TypeScript and things have gone much smoother.

The crypto module does add some padding unexpectedly, though I'm not knowledgeable enough to say if that's according to spec or not.

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Would love to get in contact with you regarding Upstate NY accelerators - my email address is my username at gmail.

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Great observation! I didn't think about the FOSS model of management as I was writing this - only startups. The meritocracy model works even better with FOSS - blowhards who can't deliver don't get very far when there is nothing but delivery to be done.

Both models (FOSS/Startups) are somewhat vulnerable to those who are the loudest winning by sheer volume. In both cases the BDFL/CEO can intervene but it wastes time/energy when it's needed most.

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True, OSS is also usually more philanthropic in that many times it isn't directly a paid situation or most times which changes the dynamic. However many people do OSS to attract business with as well or specifically to do business on that isn't controlled by a company i.e. Linux, Rails, Python etc.

I am sure in a flat company, compensation is probably the toughest part as it can easily turn into a popularity/tribal thing possibly unless there is some set ranges and agreed upon structure. I wonder in a flat company if compensation needs to be more open.

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I haven't heard of enough companies that are open about their open compensation, but Buffer seems to have it handled pretty well: https://open.bufferapp.com/introducing-open-salaries-at-buff...

The difficulty lies in quantifying experience - there loads of ways to pull that off (and none of them quite wrong). Years of experience, type of hackery, FOSS contributions, etc. I'd say the best option would be to pick one and stick with it. If you're properly open about it, those who take issue with your system won't apply.

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Open-Book Management:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-book_management

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I've seen it done many ways. My intention with this essay was not to create a comprehensive reading on the subject but instead to communicate about what I've learned thus far (from experience, observation, reading, etc).

I had hoped to come across in favor of a flat style with the admission that there are times when direct authority is the best solution to a startup's problems. How'd I do?

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Yes, Valve is an amazing example of a flat company. I had intended to talk about them in my original essay but couldn't manage to make it fit in anywhere. Their employee handbook is a fantastic read on how knowledge workers should work together: http://www.valvesoftware.com/company/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.p...

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Your comment makes it sound like you've worked there, is that so?

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I was shocked, visibly, when I found out that no one at the first startup I worked at played tabletop RPGs. I was shocked again when they looked down on me because I did. In a city that prides itself on "weirdos", I was the wrong kind of weird.

In college I poured over Steven Levy's Hackers, hoping one day I would be able to meet the tech elite. I jumped at the first chance I got to work out here, hoping I'd finally find "my people" (substitute whatever pithy phrase you like). Hasn't worked out so far.

I'm in SF now and have been for a while. Where are you guys? All the meetups I've been to were fun (hard to turn down free pizza) but it seemed like everyone was more interested in collecting business cards than talking hacker-speak. Maybe I'm going to the wrong ones?

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Yeah, that's SF. It's 80% posers, especially at meetups. The minority that are doing interesting things are, of course, not so easy to find. Work hard on your passions and eventually you'll meet likeminded people. (that's true no matter where you're located)

Just be glad you're there now, and not being forced by management to go to glitzy web parties in 1999. Those were insufferable.

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SF has been 80% posers for decades. That's why the art and music scenes in SF are so bad. In NYC, they tell you if you suck. In LA, if you suck they don't call you back. In SF, there's no judgment or criticism, and you can suck forever.

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Nobody cares about the art scene in SF vs NYC and LA. Take that discussion elsewhere.

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That's not even art. HN appreciates art.

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Have you tried going to one of the many meetups for people interested in games, instead of going to meetups for people interested in startups?

http://www.meetup.com/find/?allMeetups=false&keywords=games&...

Beyond that, I don't know what to tell you, because I know plenty of people who play games in SF. They're all over -- seemingly every tech company out here has a game night. And I'm not someone who likes to play, so I have no particular reason to seek them out.

Make sure you're not falling into the comfortable, easy trap of Reverse Nerd Discrimination: these people don't fit comfortably within my own self-image as an outsider, so they must not be like me. There are a lot of True Nerds here who have outgrown the stereotypical image of what a nerd is supposed to look like.

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Hint: startups are the new Dungeons & Dragons.

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Hey I'm the co-founder and CTO of a VC'd D&D startup (YC 2016) would you like to come to our meetup???

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> I'm in SF now and have been for a while. Where are you guys?

At home, on Hacker News, rather than the bar and wishing for a gaming troupe? I don't do meetups. I am laying travel plans for DEFCON, though...

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If you want to meet people "talking hacker-speak" in the Bay Area, then I would suggest that you go to events that would only attract that sort of person. In general this will mean shying away from events about technological pop-culture and instead focusing on the events that cover very specific and "boring" topics.

In your particular case, I would suggest going to events that focus on building things ("project nights", etc), events that cover a specific "unpopular" languages (Haskell, Clojure, Erlang), or events that feature talks from people who aren't "popular" but should be (Fabrice Bellard, Jan Hubicka, etc).

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We need a meetup group dedicated to strategies for writing parsers. There is nothing 'hip' about that so it should flush out the standard meetup cruft (e.g. "my name is X, i'm a non-technical person looking for a technical cofounder").

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I would come. I'm in the middle of a project involving a lot of parsing. Heck, I'd even speak.

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This sounds amazing. How do I learn more?

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Do something like a board game meetup, comics store events, play MTG at channel fireball, try to make friends at burning man. Or art things in oakland. There is also the SF Bay Area Reddit group too. Weird nerds don't necessarily code.

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Same here. I moved to the bay area when SF was starting to put on suits and ties, I guess. For what it's worth the north bay is nice. Go to Sausalito, look at the houseboat marina. Some of the people there are fascinating.

Like everywhere else, though, two thirds of the people here made money and moved somewhere interesting and made it less interesting.

I'm in San Rafael fwiw. Nice quiet neighborhood, peek into people's back yards and you'll see a lot of arts and crafts.

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Meetups are not community events, they are recruiter events, full stop. Sorry :/

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People were shocked , visibly, at my current job when I told them I didn't really do a lot of programming in my spare time. I made sure to not mention it anymore to someone I don't know / trust very well there, they looked like I had breached some kind of unwritten rule or requirement to work for that company - an unvoiced "You have no passion for your job and you do not belong here", of sorts.

That wouldn't be something they could fire me over though, what I do in my spare time is my business, and we have laws that protect that kinda thing.

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Sorry to hear that this has been the case. I've definitely experienced this as well. One of the things I've learned is that the best people in startups are the best at playing the game, not necessarily the smartest or most talented.

If you ever plan on putting together a board game meetup or something along those lines, shoot me an email. Would love to try and make it. Been wanting to try DnD recently as well. My email's zach@hackedu.us.

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If you cannot find the right meetup or hacker space, why not create your own? If I were in SF I'd probably visit Noisebridge. That would be nerdy enough for me, I guess :-)

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Yes, you are going to the wrong ones.

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It would be super helpful if this comment was followed by a list of some good ones...

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Visit a local hackerspace; there's much better chance of finding actual hackers there.

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Talent does not exclusively create success - there's still some elements of luck and market in there. It's still a huge part of success. Look at the absolutely insane amounts of effort companies are putting in to attract talent.

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The companies put a lot of effort into finding people who are 1) sufficiently competent and 2) cheap. That's quite a bit different than trying to find the best of the best although it can be plenty hard if you're not willing to pay the market clearing rate.

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