On Multiple Raises a Year

@jr I am in Silicon Valley. I stayed the first year because I wanted the experience of the project I was running, and then I got sick. I'm picky about telecommuting, but I expect I will have a decent offer in 3-6 months.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 10:13 pm 0

On Multiple Raises a Year

@jr Not all of them. I work for a very big one and haven't seen a raise in four years despite two major promotions (engineer with a graduate degree -> manager -> "Director" title). I was looking for something new a year ago when I was diagnosed with cancer and had to go out on long term disability for treatment. I go back to work on Monday, and I've been interviewing for the last two months while I've been recovering. The only way I'll see a raise is if I show them a competitive offer from another company. Why on earth would I stay? It's good to be comfortable enough to wait for the right thing, but I am highly motivated to get out.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm 0

On Weed Sells Like Hotcakes! Who Knew?

Oakland here - I don't smoke or vape, but I started to use edibles instead of ambien a few years ago. My dispensery has a lot of high quality, consistent options and I probably spend $20 to $30 a month. It is also right across the street from the police department which felt a little weird at first but makes it very safe.

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 1:54 pm 0

On Are Land Lines Worth It?

We have one because we have DSL. There's no actual phone plugged in, but we pay for the line.

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 12:36 pm 1

On In the Future, We Will All Understand Code

@Meaghano That's the exact analogy I use. I have a masters degree in CS and work at one of the tech giants, and I spent a few years teaching Java to 8th graders (my masters thesis project). I think what we'll see is just about everybody getting the hang of html and javascript, (for the uninitiated javascript has nothing to do with java), which run the web. Maybe some PHP. Or whatever the things are that run the web or whatever replaces it in the future. I don't see a lot of people becoming code literate at a deeper level. As for those internships and hiring kids out of high school there are a couple of things to know: 1. Internships that pay that well are generally for grad students (I made $28/hour at Sun Microsystems when I was in grad school in 2005) and are relatively rare. My undergrad intern last year got $18 an hour, which is still great money for a 20 year old, but nothing like those numbers. 2. It is absolutely possible to have the skills to be a rockstar hacker out of high school or without a college degree, but the companies that hire that way are not doing anybody any favors. They do it that way because an 18 year old will think 50k is a crapton of money, so they are getting great skills at a discount, but that 18 year old "engineer" is going to get a lifetime of lower pay and will never make it in the door to interview at another company because they don't have a degree. By the time it becomes a problem they can see, they are too hooked on the money they are paid to go back and be a broke student to get the degree. It's a particularly evil trap for bright kids. I don't see that changing any time soon either - one of the big problems with hiring a self-taught kid is that they can be genius problem solvers, but they often work best solo and have really bad habits (the code equivalents of bad spelling and grammar which can make their work really hard to read) and zero knowledge of the math behind data structures and algorithms. Without those things they lack the language to advance and write more complex systems or be architects.

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 10:25 am 1

On How to Repair a Car That Isn't Yours

@Gef the Talking Mongoose We actually just rejoined a few months ago specifically for the hotel discount - we got married and were putting up a bunch of people and saved something like $600 because of the membership. I worked my way through school dispatching for AAA in Los Angeles and knew of several people who bought a membership for an infant, because their babysitters would drive them around and they wanted coverage for whatever car the kid was in.

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 9:48 am 3

On How to Repair a Car That Isn't Yours

If something like that happens again, you might want to look into AAA - you can join on the spot and get the benefits immediately. The membership follows the person, not a car, so it's good for anything you're driving or riding in.

Posted on July 8, 2014 at 8:37 pm 0

On Have You Considered Being an Air Traffic Controller Today?

I did want to be an air traffic controller. I worked my way through college and a few years when I tried to start a business by dispatching tow trucks for AAA in LA and then San Francisco. I was really good at it (consistently one of the top 2 volume dispatchers in California) and loved it, but there's no career there. The next step is either 911/police dispatching or air traffic control. I didn't want to do 911. I don't know if it's changed, but at the time they required you to be younger than 29 (I think, it was a long time ago) and I was too old by the time they lifted the hiring freeze.

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm 0

On What Cake Are You Wearing?

I got really lucky - a good friend is an excellent professional pastry chef and she offered to do the cake at cost for our gift. So it's going to run me about $100 for a hundred people, which is beyond reasonable, and we know it will taste good (meyer lemon cake with homemade berry preserves for the main cake, red velvet groom's cake). If she hadn't made that offer we would have gone with fancy cupcakes.

Posted on June 9, 2014 at 12:19 pm 0

On Should This Kid Quit His Job To Spend His Parents' Money?

@peutetre Yeah, this is what I see. Just because his parents are rich doesn't mean a) they're going to stay that way or b) they're going to pass anything through to him.

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm 0