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The Stigma of a Tech Support Background

sean23007 Startup (613 comments)

Start a startup. It doesn't matter if it succeeds or fails.

Seriously. While I was in college, I started one of my own -- a development shop. We got one contract, executed it nicely and got some good scratch with which to buy booze and pay a few months of rent. Then we realized that you can't really run a company and do your homework at the same time, and the company fell apart.

I then worked as a sysadmin / tech-support for a little over a year to pay the bills (sounds similar to your situation), before deciding that I couldn't handle doing something I hated any more.

That's when I joined another startup as the lead developer. It seemed like it was going well, then we launched one day after what turned out was a major competitor that kind of blindsided us (Google Groups). After flailing around for a while (and writing a whole lot more software for the company that they didn't feel like releasing), the company was in its death throes and I left.

This was about three months after I'd graduated, and it was remarkably easy to get a job. All the recruiters and interviewers I talked to were very impressed by the company I'd started, less impressed by the startup I'd joined, and not at all impressed by the sysadmin job or the programming job I'd had in high school.

So if you have a few months of living expenses saved up, quit your job and start a startup company. 99% chance it'll fail, but it seems to me that afterwards you'll have a much better chance at getting a job.

What do you have to lose? With two years of tech support experience you'll have no trouble getting another tech support job.

more than 5 years ago

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Returning to the Internet

sean23007 sean23007 writes  |  about 11 years ago Well, yesterday marks my triumphant return to the internet. As surely none of you are aware (though some of you may have noticed the disappearance of my sig from threads of late), I decided to give up the internet completely for the duration of Lent, as "celebrated" by the Catholics. Not being terribly religious myself, this decision opened me up to some smirks from my friends, but my reasons were, if not exactly honorable, at least reasonable. You see, I felt that I had been spending too much time on the internet, and I was beginning to dislike it. The internet, that is. I wanted to take some time off and spend more time outside and with my friends, perhaps meet some new ones. I had considered that I was being too optimistic, and that my friends would kick me out and I really wouldn't meet anyone new. Well, I am glad to say that I was wrong in every respect.

After leaving the internet, I began to spend a lot more time out of doors, at other people's houses, at restaurants, at the movies (now unable to download new releases), and at various parties. There was much drinking and making merry, and I made dozens of new and close friends. I lost weight (though I didn't need to) and got a decent tan (even here in Minnesota). Additionally, my eyesight seems to have gotten better, returning to its former glory. That is fortunate.

I had a great time sans internet, and I almost regret having to come back now that Easter has come and gone. But alas, here I am. I've spent almost all day getting back into the swing of things, and my hands have relearned how to type after 40 days of disuse. I seem to have forgotten how bad this room actually smells (now that I'm no longer used to it), and I don't know how long I can stay here.

Now, I'm not saying that everyone should give up the internet, but an occasional voluntary break from it might do the body and soul a little good. I highly recommend a retreat from the rigors of internet use.

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Most Hated Person on Slashdot?

sean23007 sean23007 writes  |  more than 11 years ago With all the battles for the prized title of Most Loved Person on Slashdot, I have begun to wonder who is the opposite. Indeed, who holds the crown of Most Hated Person on Slashdot, and just how many people hate this poor soul? What would one have to do to get a critical mass of people to hate him? I mean, maybe you could just troll repeatedly, but that is not only boring but also would get you modded down and decrease your visibility. Can you get modded up and still get people to hate you? Does anyone have more than a dozen Freaks?

Someone should go for Most Hated. And then he should hook up with $$$$$exyGal when she finally wins Most Loved. Right...

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Google News cites Slashdot

sean23007 sean23007 writes  |  more than 11 years ago This is the first time I've noticed this, and it may indeed be the first time it has happened, but Google News has cited a Slashdot article as the primary source for one of its stories. You may all remember the story about Motorola using Linux and Java in its next generation of phones. Well, Google's webcrawler apparently decided that Slashdot is a reliable primary source for that story, even though the article itself is just a few lines long and contains a link to the real article which contains original information. Not only that, but they link to an article which duped this earlier article on the same subject.

Beyond the fact that Slashdot articles should never be considered primary sources, this link may give the wrong idea of Slashdot to people clicking around Google News. Even if you're logged in to Slashdot, this link does not respect your user preferences. It defaults to +1/Threaded. I have found that this isn't usually the best way to browse Slashdot. Additionally, by linking to a duplicate article, the discussion is mainly about dupes, and not the actual issue at hand.

I propose that the solution for this is that Google News should update their webcrawler in such a way that it never lists Slashdot as the primary source for anything, but rather may provide another link to it, perhaps labelled "Slashdot Discussion" so that people may know what they are getting into when they click it. Also, no dupe should ever get posted. They are an embarrasment for the community and a blight on the ass of Slashdot. We don't particularly want one to be the possible first experience of Slashdot for any potential future readers, do we?

Ultimately, this is more of a recommendation for Google than for Slashdot, as there really isn't anything Slashdot can do about it.

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Getting modded down

sean23007 sean23007 writes  |  more than 11 years ago I was just looking back at a few of my old posts, and I was struck by something that I think is interesting, even to the point of writing it down in one of these tasteless internet journals. "Blogs," as I believe they are popularly called. It seems to me that the karma system on Slashdot needs additions. Just knowing that I'm "Excellent" realy doesn't tell me anything. I liked it back in the days when I had a number. But, back to the subject at hand, there should be a measurement, a running total, of how you have been modded up or down. You, and others, should know if 40% of the times you were modded up, it was as Insightful, or that 80% of the times you were modded down, it was Overrated.

I must say, I really dislike the Overrated option. I mean, it just gives people a way to take down your post without a reason. -1 Disagree would be more appropriate for most uses. Or -1 I-Don't-Like-You. Looking back, most of the times I've been modded down, it's been because someone thinks I'm Overrated. I can only assume that the same is true of the down-moddings of many others. I propose that Slashdot add some kind of Overrated-Quotient, or OQ, that measures as a percentage of total posts and percentage of total mod-downs, how much you get -1 Overrated.

I would say that the best posters are the ones that get Overrated mod-downs more often than any other kind. Or, if not the best, than one of the best. Overrated is shit.

But it pales in comparison to internet journal blog asses. I really hate these stupid things, and I had planned on avoiding the Slashdot Journal feature entirely, but I didn't feel like getting modded down Offtopic by putting these into a comment. Even in response to someone else's post about the moderation system (that doesn't get -1 Offtopic'd), I have gotten slapped with the Offtopic. Blasted journals. Anyway, if anyone reads these things, especially someone with a say with regards to the moderation here on Slashdot, I think you should at least take these ideas into consideration. And don't be biased against them because of the medium. I know I would be.

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