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Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

buddyglass Re:eh (428 comments)

I get that competition leads to higher salaries. My point is that higher salaries, while it might be a "solution" for a given company's trouble filling positions, isn't an industry-wide solution. If I offer an above-market salary to fill my rec then I'm necessarily taking someone off the market who could be working for some other company. If all other companies increase their compensation equal to the amount I increased mine then I don't gain any advantage and I have approximately as much trouble finding talent as I do today.

What would likely ameliorate the "talent deficit" is that some tech jobs would either cease to exist or move overseas if the compensation level grew too high.

2 days ago
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Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

buddyglass eh (428 comments)

Here's why I'm not convinced that the answer is simply higher salaries. To be sure, some workers who could be doing tech decide to do something else. Maybe they go into academia, finance, IP law, etc. Raising tech salaries across the board, by everyone who employs tech workers, would steal some of these guys back. But would it be enough? You would probably also motivate some young people to go into tech that currently go into other fields. But that's for the future; it doesn't help the present. The fact is that there's a fixed supply of domestic talent at each point along the talent spectrum. You could pay 10x as much and it won't magically increase the amount of available talent. If there is, in fact, not enough talent to "go around", i.e. to fill all the tech positions employers want to fill, then we don't just have a salary problem.

Side note: what's good for the domestic tech worker may not be the same as what's good for the country. That is to say, an influx of highly-skilled foreign tech workers might depress salaries in the short term, but an abundance of cheap tech labor could juice the success of domestic tech companies which, in the long run, may actually be better for the U.S. as a whole.

There's also anecdotal evidence that the U.S. is becoming less attractive to foreign talent and not more. Which, in my opinion, is terrible news.

2 days ago
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Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

buddyglass my takeaway (219 comments)

The big news to me isn't that they weren't able to invent the tech, but their estimate that even if their most optimistic scenario had come true w.r.t. clean energy tech that it still wouldn't be enough to avoid the "really bad" scenario w.r.t. climate change (if you trust Hansen's models).

about a week ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

buddyglass one tactic... (516 comments)

One tactic utility companies could use is to just change their pricing structure. Most already have a fee structure where the highest price/kWh is only paid for electricity purchased at the margins. The first kWh purchased may be drastically cheaper than the last, especially if you're a heavy user. So they could simply exaggerate that structure and make electricity "artificially" cheap for the majority of users and then gouge the heavy users on usage over some threshold.

Alternately they could move to a price structure where there's a fixed "fee" to simply be a customer, and then use the revenue from that fee to offset the price-per-kWh and make it artificially cheap.

about a week ago
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Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

buddyglass Re:10x Productivity (215 comments)

It's one way. I should have been more specific. "Amount of moderately difficult work completed at a moderate-or-higher level of quality." Another might be, "Ability to complete extremely difficult work at a extremely high level of quality in non-infinite time." Someone who excels at the first might not excel at the second, though generally I'd expect there to be a lot of overlap.

about a week ago
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Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

buddyglass Re:10x Productivity (215 comments)

I've been doing software dev. for about 15 years. I'll grant that the level of productivity between "the worst" and "the best" is at least 10x, if not more, because "the worst" are essentially producing nothing. Or, worse, have negative productivity in the sense they're creating stuff that is totally non-functional and will need to be re-written by someone else at a later date.

That said, the difference between "the best" and "the average" is probably not 10x. At least not if productivity is measured in "amount of output produced at some acceptable level of quality". Where "the best" guys excel is in being able to solve problems that average guy is probably never going to be able to solve (well) no matter how much time he's given. On the other hand, those sorts of problems come up less often than most people think.

about a week ago
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Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

buddyglass Re:Here's the deal (215 comments)

If, after interviewing somewhere, I end up taking a job for which I'm a poor fit then the fault is mine and not the recruiter's. I view the recruiter's job as getting me interviews at places where I'm likely to be a good fit and where they're likely to be willing to compensate a level I'd be satisfied with.

about a week ago
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Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

buddyglass Re:Here's the deal (215 comments)

Don't recruiters, or their employers, typically get paid a sum based on the salary given to the person they placed? So, in theory, they have an incentive to see that the job-seeker gets the highest salary that doesn't price him out of the market entirely.

Where I could potentially see 10x being useful is for guys who are the acknowledged "best in the world" at some particular thing. Like, "tuning huge postgresql installations". Because you're the primary committer on the project, or something. There are employers willing to pay "best in the world" level compensation for these guys to do short-term work. 10x would be useful if it put the devs in contact with these employers and they would not otherwise have come into contact with them. In that sense it's a sort of match-making service, bringing "guys who can charge exorbitant consulting fees" together with "companies willing to pay exorbitant consulting fees".

about a week ago
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Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

buddyglass Hmm (224 comments)

Why did they spend money on the campaigns of candidates who were already quite likely to win? That seems like a suboptimal way to spend the funds at their disposal. Spend it exclusively on races where it might make a difference.

about two weeks ago
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Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

buddyglass Re:Energy Independence Means (334 comments)

Yes, it's true. We are currently producing more oil than Saudi Arabia! But we are far from being independent.

Short of state ownership of the oil production industry and/or draconian restrictions on exports and imports the U.S. won't ever be "independent" in the sense that it is unaffected by the global price of petroleum. And that price is only influenced to a small degree by U.S. production.

1. Set standards on gasoline, there are way too many formulas that vary state to state 2. Determine how many refineries we need (haven't built any new refineries for 30+ years). 3. Determine the best locations for the refineries (logistics of incoming raw crude and outgoing fuels)

These sound like tasks best suited to a China-style command economy. You strike me as the sort of person who would find that abhorrent.

You're charging you car using energy from coal so you ain't doing any favors using a toy battery car.

Unless you live in Washington state, where roughly 6.5% of electricity comes from coal. Or Oregon, where that figure is roughly the same. Etc.

about three weeks ago
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Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

buddyglass useful indicator of socioeconomic class: (334 comments)

...whether you notice changes in the price of gasoline without being notified by the media. If you do then you satisfy a fairly broad definition of "middle class".

If you're too poor to own a car and, hence, don't care about gas prices, then you're not middle class. If you're someone to whom a $1/gal delta in the price of gas is more-or-less meaningless then you're not middle class. If you're someone who lives in a dense, urban environment and doesn't own a car by choice then you're probably also not "middle class".

about three weeks ago
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The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

buddyglass Re:100% anecdotal tale (574 comments)

Well, yeah. The company could be more profitable than it is now if it had better employees. My point was just that they don't seem to compensate by the lack of quality by attempting to force people to work longer hours. They just hire more bodies to pick up the slack.

about three weeks ago
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The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

buddyglass Re:100% anecdotal tale (574 comments)

I, personally, don't work any extra hours. I get my stuff done and. If someone else doesn't and the project suffers then that's on them. At least one of my (competent) peers does work longer hours, but she's the outlier, and I think she's starting to realize it's not worth it. And, no, I'm not willing to say where I work. It's just a small 50-60 person start-up you've never heard of.

about three weeks ago
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The Other Side of Diversity In Tech

buddyglass you know... (441 comments)

Someone really knows how to troll slashdot.

about three weeks ago
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The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

buddyglass 100% anecdotal tale (574 comments)

The company where I work has grown from about 15 when I started to around 50. Not everyone is technical, of course, but the technical staff has grown from maybe 5 to 15, give or take. The company's interviewing strategy is terrible in terms of accurately gauging ability and talent. Consequently, the quality of technical employees has been hit or miss. There are a few very competent people and a few that absolutely should never have been hired. The company pays roughly industry standard for its geography. Given that it absolutely had to hire technical staff, had the interviewing process had been effective at weeding out sub-standard candidates then the company would likely have been forced to offer above-market compensation in order to increase head count while maintaining a reasonable level of competence.

There's may not be a shortage of candidates per se, but there's a shortage of competent candidates and a shortage of wisdom (on the part of employers) in how they choose whom to hire.

I suspect a small company that did a top-notch job of screening candidates would enjoy a significant advantage over its competition.

about three weeks ago
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Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

buddyglass Re:Yawn (764 comments)

who cares?

According to Tim Cook, a gay person who is "struggling to come to terms with who he or she is" or who feels alone.

about a month ago
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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

buddyglass Re:Boys are naturally curious... (608 comments)

Interesting. At the university I attended, a top 25 state school, the College of Engineering school was much harder to get into (and stay in) than the College of Natural Sciences, i.e. where you'd be if you were pre-med, or the Business School, i.e. where you'd be if you were studying finance. In terms of post-university "prestige", though, "Doctor" and "Investment Banker" both beat "Civil Engineer".

about a month ago
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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

buddyglass Re:Boys are naturally curious... (608 comments)

Yeah, my guess is that most high ability female high school graduates with C.S./Calculus exposure who don't eventually get a degree in C.S./Math/Engineering/Physics end up in finance or pre-med.

That said, given your wife hated programming, why did she gravitate toward pre-med (and then finance) instead of, say, Mathematics or Physics? Or one of the non-programmy engineering disciplines, e.g. Civil? Was it mainly about the money, with medical and finance careers likely to have a higher payout for someone of your wife's ability level? Or was there something about "doing medicine" and/or "doing finance" that was more intellectual interesting than "doing Computer Science", "doing Math", "doing Physics" or "doing Engineering"?

I obviously don't know your wife, but it sounds like she wasn't interested in academia, which is going to be the end-game for many Math and Physics graduates who don't eventually end up doing some sort of coding. Given that, I can see why she avoided Math, Physics and C.S. But the non-coding Engineering professions seem like they might have been a viable option. Again, though, money's better in medicine and finance.

about a month ago

Submissions

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The Fiscal Cliff: What's your bill?

buddyglass buddyglass writes  |  about 2 years ago

buddyglass (925859) writes "As most slashdotters in the United States are aware the impending fiscal cliff will hit in 2013 unless a compromise is reached beforehand. Want to know the impact to your household in the absence of any compromise? Turns out there's an app for that. It should be interesting to see how different readers' households are affected by the "full cliff" scenario as well as various alternate proposals."
Link to Original Source
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London Stock Exchange delays Linux switch

buddyglass buddyglass writes  |  about 4 years ago

buddyglass (925859) writes "Citing scalability concerns after its test platform "Turqoise" was knocked offline for two hours by unusually high volume, the London Stock Exchange announced that it is delaying its planned switch from Microsoft to Linux. The switch was initially motivated by a desire for shorter latencies. Notably, the NASDAQ uses a scalable Linux-based system that achieves trade latencies 25ms shorter than the LSE's planned deployment."
Link to Original Source
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No more Windows bugs?

buddyglass buddyglass writes  |  more than 4 years ago

buddyglass (925859) writes "Past submitters have focused on previous "Patch Tuesdays" in which Microsoft has issued fixes for a record number of issues. Examples here and here. It seems only fair, then, to mention that the software maker intends to release only a single fix this iteration, addressing an issue that is only considered critical for Windows 2000 systems. If past releases with large numbers of fixes were evidence of the poor quality of Microsoft software, and by extension the closed source model in general, does this upcoming Tuesday represent some level of vindication?"
Link to Original Source
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Climate change consensus questioned?

buddyglass buddyglass writes  |  more than 7 years ago

buddyglass (925859) writes "In 2004 Naomi Oreskes examined 928 abstracts of peer-reviewed journal articles published from 1993-2003 and announced an overwhelming agreement in favor of the "consensus view" of climate change, which states that human activity bears at least partial responsibility. Her methods were recently repeated by one Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte, who examined 528 abstracts of peer-reviewed journal articles published from 2004-2007. Dr. Schulte's study found that 45% of articles agreed with the consensus view, either explicitly or implicitly, whereas 6% explicitly disagreed. Another 48% were explicitly neutral, refusing to support or deny the consensus view. Does this draw into question the notion that there is an unequivocal consensus among climate change researchers with regard to human activity's effect on the global climate?"
Link to Original Source
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How would you refocus linux development?

buddyglass buddyglass writes  |  more than 7 years ago

buddyglass (925859) writes "The majority of Slashdot users are no doubt appreciative of linux in the general sense, but I suspect we all have some application or aspect of the platform that we wish was more stable, performant, feature-rich, etc. So my question is a hypothetical one: if you were able to devote a "significant" number of resources (read: high-quality developers) to a particular app or area of the kernel, and were able to set the focus for those resources (stability, performance, new features, etc.), what application or kernel area would you attempt to improve, and what would you focus on improving?"

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