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Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

ranton Re:Hold on a minute (185 comments)

I've always wondered why software companies don't open a branch office somewhere besides the 10 highest cost of living areas in the USA to hire people cheaper. Why do all the companies try to poach the same few programmers who want to live in Silicon Valley? There's a vast, untapped talent base that are good programmers but don't want to live in big cities.

The reason is that there really isn't a vast untapped talent base that are good programmers but don't want to live in big cities. There is a small and dispersed talent base that are good programmers but don't want to live in big cities.

Many, although not all, of the difficulties a company has to deal with with off-shoring development also exist when hiring remote teams in Oklahoma. And the talent simply is not there even if you put in the effort. Talent tends to gravitate around universities, or at least the largest city near good universities (people may go to school in Urbana-Champaign or Ithaca, but will likely move to Chicago or New York after college).

yesterday
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Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

ranton Hold on a minute (185 comments)

How does this fit into my worldview where H1-B Visa holders are taking all of our jobs and lowering all of our wages? I'm just lucky I am easily able to ignore evidence that I don't like, or else this article would be troubling.

yesterday
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Be True To Your CS School: LinkedIn Ranks US Schools For Job-Seeking Programmers

ranton Re:Missing the point (127 comments)

The fact that most GED holders don't attempt careers in software development is irrelevant.

I already agree with you in my earlier post that this is irrelevant. It was the first thing I addressed.

However, it is highly relevant that GED holders and/or high school or college graduates with degrees completely unrelated to computer science tend to be better programmers.

Also irrelevant. Someone without a CS degree who works as a software developer is very likely to be an autodidact, which is very useful in this field. So any non-CS degree holder working in this field would have to be compared to a CS degree holder who is also an autodidact if your comparison is going to be valid. And CS majors who who motivated enough to be good developers even before entering college are most likely to be the best software engineers in the industry. They are the ones who become published as undergrads and get the truly great jobs after college.

I have nothing to prove for myself; I already earn a very good salary and have excellent mobility in several fields.

If you were just here telling people that there are other routes to success in the software development industry than a CS degree, I wouldn't think you have a chip on your shoulder. But your comments instead come off as trolling. I have yet to meet a GED holder in person who was self motivated enough to build a great career, and based on my small town upbringing I know a lot of GED holders. Obviously there will be exceptions, and perhaps you are one, but like I said before you mostly just sound like a troll who is trying to rile people up.

2 days ago
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Be True To Your CS School: LinkedIn Ranks US Schools For Job-Seeking Programmers

ranton Re:Missing the point (127 comments)

While that may be true in some areas; not having a college degree greatly reduces your employment chances, especially in technical fields.

This is entirely false. I've never had any difficulty whatsoever obtaining employment related to software development or systems/infrastructure roles, and neither have most of my peers who hold similar credentials. Perhaps this trend has been partially related to our ability to demonstrate skills on demand, i.e. "get the job done, and done properly" rather than an appeal to a piece of paper that essentially says "trust this guy; he passed some exams that may or may not actually bear any relation whatsoever to the work your business needs done right now."

While a degree does not prevent workers from getting most jobs once they have 5+ years of experience and a proven track record, it is very useful in getting into the industry. People who started their careers in the 90s or between '03-'06 didn't have this worry because of how well the economy was doing, but right now a degree is more important than ever. It is hard for people even with degrees to find work now, let alone those trying to prove themselves with nothing going for them.

2 days ago
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Be True To Your CS School: LinkedIn Ranks US Schools For Job-Seeking Programmers

ranton Re:Missing the point (127 comments)

Here's what I'm really trying to say: of all the programmers I've worked with, the ones producing the best code in terms of functionality, efficiency, and security have almost universally lacked CS degrees. Interestingly enough, I've worked with some very gifted developers who held bachelor's (and in some cases master's) degrees in fields such as psychology, electrical engineering, physics, pure mathematics, and even English literature. The "odd factor" here has been the pronounced absence of CS degrees among that pool of truly able developers.

I have noticed a similar effect in a few software development teams I have done consulting work with. One byproduct of not paying high enough salaries is that you get people who had trouble finding work elsewhere. The two most common types who take these jobs are bad CS majors and talented non-CS majors whose lack of a relevant degree hurts their hire-ability elsewhere.

Even at places that do pay well, it is quite likely that some of the best developers will have non-CS degrees. Since it is less likely that they would succeed in the industry, only the best of the best find jobs and keep employed. They can't just fall back on having that CS degree during the job search. But if you see an English major working as a software developer, that person probably is quite accomplished or how would they have been hired in the first place.

But at all places I have worked where the vast majority of co-workers are top-notch, the vast majority of the developers had CS or engineering degrees (which aren't much different in this field unless you want to work in research).

2 days ago
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Be True To Your CS School: LinkedIn Ranks US Schools For Job-Seeking Programmers

ranton Re:Missing the point (127 comments)

That's a fundamentally flawed statement. The question isn't whether I'm representative of most individuals with GEDs, but whether I'm representative of individuals holding GEDs who happen to have pursued careers involving substantial software development duties.

Yes, that is the question, but even in that context I am quite confident saying that most GED holders who attempt a software development career have much less success than your average CS degree holder. Like you I am another exception (in my case I have an online paper mill degree), but at least I am honest enough to understand I am an exception. The University of Phoenix classmates who I have links to in LinkedIn are all working either in some crummy retail job or at best are doing tech support jobs. The only exceptions are those who already worked in the field but just needed a degree to advance further (like me). I only know a couple GED holders who wanted careers in tech, and one works at Best Buy while the other installs satellite dishes.

On a side note, in my experience these discussions tend to invite emotionally-driven responses from people who spent an awful lot of time and money obtaining a CS degree because somebody told them they needed it to pursue any kind of career associated with information technology.

That swings both ways, as most people with poor academic credentials also provide emotionally-driven responses in an attempt to prove to themselves that their lack of a degree is not a disadvantage. Any person who uses ridiculous arguments such as using their own unique success story as some kind of proof is either really bad at logical reasoning or has a big chip on their shoulder.

2 days ago
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JavaScript and the Netflix User Interface

ranton Re: Golden Hammer (192 comments)

Java is a great teaching language but will never penetrate business applications to any significant degree until it runs faster for the end user.

You do realize that Java is the #1 language for enterprise business applications right?

2 days ago
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Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

ranton Re:Perfectly-timed? (249 comments)

The statement was that the Note 4 hasn't eclipsed the iPhone nor is it out selling it. That statement is true.

It isn't really fair to just compare the Note 4 to the iPhone, since one of the primary benefit Samsung has going for it is options (although Apple closed this gap with the 6 and 6 plus). You need to compare the iPhone to the Note 4 and Galaxy S5/6, where the gap in sales is not nearly as large. And that is almost the only thing Apple has going for it is its better marketing / sales. That clearly would make me want to own Apple stock instead of Samsung stock, but it doesn't have anything to do with which phone I would want to buy.

The details about the Note 4 don't mean shit when the implementation on a whole is crap. Samsung is going to have to get away from Android and the fact that everything about it screams poor experience because its purpose is to basically steal information about the user to serve the user ads.

Those are all very subjective comparisons. I have only owned Galaxy Sx phones, not a Note, but the user experience has been great. I only know one person who switched from Apple to Samsung, but he greatly preferred the Samsung phone. Both your and my experience is very anecdotal though, and mostly meaningless.

You're one of those guys that thinks raw specs are all that matters for comparisons ... which is why we all drive race cars to and from work and the store.

It has been about 2-3 years since most phone specs mattered (IMHO) for most phones. But there are significant spec advantages for the Note 4 compared to the iPhone 6 Plus. The screen is much better, 3x the RAM (usually not a deciding factor with high end phones, but seriously only 1 GB Apple?), much better back and front cameras, and expandable memory. It is striking that the iPhone 6 Plus is just so inferior to a product that was launching just a month later. But the biggest advantage the Note 4 has is its multitasking capabilities not its specs.

This only thing Apple has going for it is a larger user base, so apps such as Facetime can almost single-handedly keep customers staying with Apple.

3 days ago
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Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

ranton Re:Perfectly-timed? (249 comments)

How is a device that most people have never heard of "eclipsing" the iPhone. It's certainly not outselling it.

How do you figure that Samsung hasn't eclipsed the iPhone? They sell more phones each year by a wide margin (Samsung: 444 million vs Apple: 151 million in 2013), and are on par with Apple when you only count phones that are comparable with the iPhone (about a third of their sales).

When you look at the quality of the phone features, Samsung really has the iPhone beat. I was contemplating moving to the iPhone when they announced their larger models since I have an iPad and would like my phone and tablet to be within the same app ecosystem. But details about the Note 4 and rumors about the S6 make the iPhone look really bad.

Apple does have Samsung beat in marketing and brand awareness, which helps them have far more profit (for now). But with the inferior phones they have produced over the past couple years it is hard to see them continuing their dominance over the next decade. Their tablets are still the best though (IMHO).

3 days ago
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Outsourced Tech Jobs Are Increasingly Being Automated

ranton Re:grow your own (236 comments)

Taxation is kind of hard to see for phone support, since it's a cost center, not a revenue center.

You just aren't being very creative. If you want a little bit of profit to be made overseas, create a subsidiary in India that charges your company for phone support. Make sure the price is high enough that your subsidiary is making a profit, and you have just shifted some profit overseas.

about two weeks ago
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Code.org: Blame Tech Diversity On Education Pipeline, Not Hiring Discrimination

ranton Re:I'm glad SOMEBODY finally said this (227 comments)

Shouldn't the diversity crusaders be making waves calling for more male enrollment in fashion?

No, because no one feels the lack of diversity in fashion affects the efficiency of our economy.

and short of forcing students into majors they don't like, you're never gonna get perfect diversity?

That may be your contention, but there is a great deal of disagreement around this. Many people believe that culture has a significant impact on the careers people pursue. Many people feel someone working as an engineer improves society more than someone working as a retail worker, and that it is worth the effort to help women meet their full potential. I will sure try to do this for my daughter.

about three weeks ago
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Senators Threaten To Rescind NFL Antitrust Exemption

ranton Re:You underestimate football's popularity (242 comments)

The same could be said about pretty much everything. The things you like are incredibly boring and stupid to a lot of people.

Yes, but I'm sure that no one spends huge amounts of their tax dollars supporting his boring recreational activities...

National parks, PBS, National Endowment for the Arts, etc. There are plenty of was the government funds recreational activities.

According to Grantmakers in the Arts, public funding in the arts comes to about $1.14 billion per year. With the NFL receiving $146 million per year, the NFL is still getting a sizeable amount of money in comparison. But with about 1 in 3 Americans watching at least some football each year, football probably entertains at least as many people as the entire NEA funding does, so perhaps it is money well spent.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

ranton Re:Listen to Sales - as hard as it may be (159 comments)

Toyota is very open about their processes - they give guided tours of their plants to their competitors. And where did you think those "TPS" reports came from in "Office Space?" "Toyota Production System." They also share methodologies with everyone, including their competitors, but that didn't stop them from becoming the #1 car manufacturer in the world.

If Toyota didn't settle with the Department of Justice for $1.2 billion earlier this year because of deliberately concealing vehicle safety issues, your statements would hold more water. Companies are so interested in keeping their problems secret they are willing to hide them even when it is against the law. So when hiding something is not against the law, the decision of whether to keep it hidden is far easier to make.

Food is also regulated by the FDA. You can search the same FDA database for "food bugs." Has that harmed the food industry?

Has is harmed them compared to what? The non-FDA regulated food items? This has no relation to a company whose competitors are not being forced to open their data, like food companies are. The sales and marketing teams wouldn't be nearly as upset if their competitors were forced to open their bug databases as well (like is the case with the FDA).

And as someone who did research with a professor in requirements tracing for the FDA, I can tell you there is plenty that is kept secret in the food and medical industries even with FDA approval.

Whether an open bugs list helps this business is what this story is about - NOT "open source vs closed source".

You brought up the "open source vs closed source" debate by comparing this company who writes proprietary software with the behaviors of open source projects. My entire point was that you shouldn't be bringing up open source projects, so thank you for agreeing with me.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

ranton Re:Listen to Sales - as hard as it may be (159 comments)

Yes there is, the people you pay to make these decisions have made their decision.

First, if you bothered to read the summary, the decision has NOT been made. The bug tracker is still open to everyone.

It is impossible from the summary to know where the company currently stands on this. We only know what actions management has taken so far. Bureaucracy can move slow. He has already stopping actively publishing links to the Bugzilla database, and admits he believes the next step of closing open access to the database is coming soon. The sales/marketing team has made up their mind that the open database is bad, it's just that the higher ups haven't completely forced their hand yet.

Those are all open source projects

So what?

It is important because open source software lives with a different set of advantages / disadvantages as closed software. Open source benefits from having more people looking at / working on the code, but has the downside of making the code available to anyone. Close source benefits from being proprietary and being able to control how they appear to the public, but lose the extra manpower.

Let's take another real-world example - bugs in pharmaceuticals. The FDA Adverse Events Reporting System [fda.gov]. Anyone can post to it, ...

Once again, you are looking at something completely different. Pharmaceuticals are regulated by the FDA, as even you point out. Government have (correctly IMHO) determined that the possibly damaging nature of these disclosures to the company is outweighed by the public benefit of knowing this information. If a government agency forced all ERP systems to publicly disclose their bug databases, then you would have an apt analogy.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

ranton Re:Listen to Sales - as hard as it may be (159 comments)

So until there's proof, there's no valid reason to change current practice.

Yes there is, the people you pay to make these decisions have made their decision. This is what you pay them for, and their opinions carry FAR more weight in this matter than your developers. They probably did seek the opinions of the development staff, since the poster said compromises have been made, but ultimately it is not up to the IT staff. And with the weak arguments used in the post, I can easily see why the sales and marketing teams are continuing to push back.

That one took only seconds to debunk [google.com]. The number one smartphone software in the world in terms of sales has a public searchable bug list., including open bugs. FreeBSD, which is the base of OSX and which Apple contributes heavily to, lets anyone browse all bug reports or just open ones [freebsd.org].

Those are all open source projects, which obviously have all bugs and even all software made public. Those are horrible examples; it is almost as if you agree with me and are purposely throwing out easily shot down arguments to bolster my case.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

ranton Re:Listen to Sales - as hard as it may be (159 comments)

Bullcrap. Ask marketing to provide proof (not anecdotes - real proof) on the number of people who have switched away from the product because of the bug reports.

If you are asking for "real proof", that goes both ways. I doubt the software development team has any scientific studies showing a public development bug database works better than listing bug fixes in release notes. So both sides are just using their personal experience and generally accepted knowledge.

And truthfully, this is ONLY a marketing / sales issue. They are responsible for how the company communicates with its customers, not the developers. Either change their minds, convince the bosses to hire different people, or do what they say in this matter.

On top of this, I don't think the poster has a very good argument. Just look at this statement:

This had been appreciated by our support and developer community, as they can readily see what issues are addressed and what new features have been introduced.

You don't need to make your internal bug tracking software public to do this. You only have to provide release notes. You can go one step further and publish a roadmap if you feel that is helpful. But none of this requires you to "air your dirty laundry". The fact he tries validate his decision with facts that don't actually back him up just shows me he doesn't have a very good argument.

People know all software has bugs. Hasn't stopped Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Amazon, from doing business. If marketing doesn't know how to "feature" this openness - by emphasizing the responsiveness to users (not that it's open per se), then they're idiots.

If people are so knowledgeable about the fact all software has bugs, why do none of the huge companies you mention openly list their internal bug tracking data? They all have huge and experiences sales and marketing departments, and all of them feel it is not a good idea. Some cloud companies do publish very detailed uptime and maintenance reports, but that is because of how wary companies still are about trusting another company's uptime statistics. They still don't openly publish unfixed bugs; you need to go to someplace like StackExchange and blogs to find those.

about three weeks ago
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PostgreSQL Outperforms MongoDB In New Round of Tests

ranton "Small" amount of data (147 comments)

I am confused. If they are testing the performance of ACID and BASE database systems, why did they use a data load that can easily fit on a single computer? The data size for both databases was under 150 GB which can easily sit on a single hard drive let alone a single server. Why would a BASE database have any edge over an ACID one for a data set that does not require distribution between multiple servers?

It is still important to see how much faster a more established DBMS is than a relative newcomer for smaller loads, but I still feel this comparison is a bit lacking.

about three weeks ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

ranton Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

The latest recession was never called the mancession.

How is this rated informative? It is plain wrong.

You could find the same few examples (among many others) with a simple Google search, but since that is obviously too much work ...

Mancession Definition
The Mancession
Thanks to the “mancession,” metrosexuals have become “manfluencers”
One Mancession Later, Are Women Really Victors in the New Economy?
Economy: The Man-cession and the He-covery
It's Not Just a Recession. It's a Mancession!

about a month ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

ranton Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

My point is that studies have allowed for this pressure, and have been conducted only amongst women who have not disqualified themselves. If you compare only women without children to men, men still get paid more for the same jobs.

He wasn't just talking about childless women. If women without children choose lower paid professions, and put higher emphasis on things like work-life balance than men do. They also don't negotiate for salary as hard.

about a month ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

ranton Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

This has been allowed for in the various studies of the subject. Even among childless women there is a significant discrepancy in salaries for similar jobs. Though, from one article in the Economist, the discrepancy almost disappears for childless women not in any relationship.

Looking at only childless women is clearly not enough to remove all non-discriminatory factors that create the mythical gender pay gap. An American Association of University Women study and US Department of Labor research put the pay gap at 6.6% and 5.9% respectively. And they admit they could not adjust for some of the biggest elephants in the room, such as the lack of salary negotiation among women or women giving higher priority to their family than their career (they only adjusted for industry and education, not job position).

My wife is a good example of both phenomena. When she was offered her previous job the salary was about $58k. With negotiation she raised that to $69k. Studies show that women don't negotiate for salary as much as men, and if my wife was like the over 4 in 5 women who don't negotate salary her pay would have been 16% less.

On the other hand, I went back to school to improve my career while she held off on her MBA to have our children. It was a decision she made because she wanted to, but it will likely cost her tens of thousands if not possibly hundreds of thousands in lost wages. On top of the lack of an MBA (which honestly may not cost her any wages), she spends more time raising kids than I do because we both know my career is now the breadwinning one. I now make 70% more than I did 5 years ago while she makes about 25% more. And I am not objectively smarter or more determined than my wife, we just went down different paths.

On top of this, she even fits another gender stereotype by cleaning more than I do. I do far more cleaning than I did as a bachelor, but she needs to have an immaculate house. While I am reading journals, writing side projects, or just learning a new technology, she is tidying up the house. If she was willing to live in a house that didn't always look like it was being staged to sell, like I am, she would be able to spend more time on her career.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Microsoft Surface 3 Announced

ranton ranton writes  |  about 5 months ago

ranton (36917) writes "Microsoft has just announced the third generation of their Surface tablet. The most notable update is a larger 12 inch screen while still weighing less than the Surface 2. The announcement also went over various software updates to help make the tablet as productive as a laptop or desktop computer. The Surface Pro 3 goes on sale tomorrow starting at $799."

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