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Datt Panchal

Datt Panchal

1 year ago

The Learning Habit

More on Personal Growth

Samer Buna

Samer Buna

1 year ago

The Errors I Committed As a Novice Programmer

Learn to identify them, make habits to avoid them

First, a clarification. This article is aimed to make new programmers aware of their mistakes, train them to detect them, and remind them to prevent them.

I learned from all these blunders. I'm glad I have coding habits to avoid them. Do too.

These mistakes are not ordered.

1) Writing code haphazardly

Writing good content is hard. It takes planning and investigation. Quality programs don't differ.

Think. Research. Plan. Write. Validate. Modify. Unfortunately, no good acronym exists. Create a habit of doing the proper quantity of these activities.

As a newbie programmer, my biggest error was writing code without thinking or researching. This works for small stand-alone apps but hurts larger ones.

Like saying anything you might regret, you should think before coding something you could regret. Coding expresses your thoughts.

When angry, count to 10 before you speak. If very angry, a hundred. — Thomas Jefferson.

My quote:

When reviewing code, count to 10 before you refactor a line. If the code does not have tests, a hundred. — Samer Buna

Programming is primarily about reviewing prior code, investigating what is needed and how it fits into the current system, and developing small, testable features. Only 10% of the process involves writing code.

Programming is not writing code. Programming need nurturing.

2) Making excessive plans prior to writing code

Yes. Planning before writing code is good, but too much of it is bad. Water poisons.

Avoid perfect plans. Programming does not have that. Find a good starting plan. Your plan will change, but it helped you structure your code for clarity. Overplanning wastes time.

Only planning small features. All-feature planning should be illegal! The Waterfall Approach is a step-by-step system. That strategy requires extensive planning. This is not planning. Most software projects fail with waterfall. Implementing anything sophisticated requires agile changes to reality.

Programming requires responsiveness. You'll add waterfall plan-unthinkable features. You will eliminate functionality for reasons you never considered in a waterfall plan. Fix bugs and adjust. Be agile.

Plan your future features, though. Do it cautiously since too little or too much planning can affect code quality, which you must risk.

3) Underestimating the Value of Good Code

Readability should be your code's exclusive goal. Unintelligible code stinks. Non-recyclable.

Never undervalue code quality. Coding communicates implementations. Coders must explicitly communicate solution implementations.

Programming quote I like:

Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live. — John Woods

John, great advice!

Small things matter. If your indentation and capitalization are inconsistent, you should lose your coding license.

Long queues are also simple. Readability decreases after 80 characters. To highlight an if-statement block, you might put a long condition on the same line. No. Just never exceed 80 characters.

Linting and formatting tools fix many basic issues like this. ESLint and Prettier work great together in JavaScript. Use them.

Code quality errors:

Multiple lines in a function or file. Break long code into manageable bits. My rule of thumb is that any function with more than 10 lines is excessively long.

Double-negatives. Don't.

Using double negatives is just very not not wrong

Short, generic, or type-based variable names. Name variables clearly.

There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things. — Phil Karlton

Hard-coding primitive strings and numbers without descriptions. If your logic relies on a constant primitive string or numeric value, identify it.

Avoiding simple difficulties with sloppy shortcuts and workarounds. Avoid evasion. Take stock.

Considering lengthier code better. Shorter code is usually preferable. Only write lengthier versions if they improve code readability. For instance, don't utilize clever one-liners and nested ternary statements just to make the code shorter. In any application, removing unneeded code is better.

Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight. — Bill Gates

Excessive conditional logic. Conditional logic is unnecessary for most tasks. Choose based on readability. Measure performance before optimizing. Avoid Yoda conditions and conditional assignments.

4) Selecting the First Approach

When I started programming, I would solve an issue and move on. I would apply my initial solution without considering its intricacies and probable shortcomings.

After questioning all the solutions, the best ones usually emerge. If you can't think of several answers, you don't grasp the problem.

Programmers do not solve problems. Find the easiest solution. The solution must work well and be easy to read, comprehend, and maintain.

There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. — C.A.R. Hoare

5) Not Giving Up

I generally stick with the original solution even though it may not be the best. The not-quitting mentality may explain this. This mindset is helpful for most things, but not programming. Program writers should fail early and often.

If you doubt a solution, toss it and rethink the situation. No matter how much you put in that solution. GIT lets you branch off and try various solutions. Use it.

Do not be attached to code because of how much effort you put into it. Bad code needs to be discarded.

6) Avoiding Google

I've wasted time solving problems when I should have researched them first.

Unless you're employing cutting-edge technology, someone else has probably solved your problem. Google It First.

Googling may discover that what you think is an issue isn't and that you should embrace it. Do not presume you know everything needed to choose a solution. Google surprises.

But Google carefully. Newbies also copy code without knowing it. Use only code you understand, even if it solves your problem.

Never assume you know how to code creatively.

The most dangerous thought that you can have as a creative person is to think that you know what you’re doing. — Bret Victor

7) Failing to Use Encapsulation

Not about object-oriented paradigm. Encapsulation is always useful. Unencapsulated systems are difficult to maintain.

An application should only handle a feature once. One object handles that. The application's other objects should only see what's essential. Reducing application dependencies is not about secrecy. Following these guidelines lets you safely update class, object, and function internals without breaking things.

Classify logic and state concepts. Class means blueprint template. Class or Function objects are possible. It could be a Module or Package.

Self-contained tasks need methods in a logic class. Methods should accomplish one thing well. Similar classes should share method names.

As a rookie programmer, I didn't always establish a new class for a conceptual unit or recognize self-contained units. Newbie code has a Util class full of unrelated code. Another symptom of novice code is when a small change cascades and requires numerous other adjustments.

Think before adding a method or new responsibilities to a method. Time's needed. Avoid skipping or refactoring. Start right.

High Cohesion and Low Coupling involves grouping relevant code in a class and reducing class dependencies.

8) Arranging for Uncertainty

Thinking beyond your solution is appealing. Every line of code will bring up what-ifs. This is excellent for edge cases but not for foreseeable needs.

Your what-ifs must fall into one of these two categories. Write only code you need today. Avoid future planning.

Writing a feature for future use is improper. No.

Write only the code you need today for your solution. Handle edge-cases, but don't introduce edge-features.

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. — Edward Abbey

9) Making the incorrect data structure choices

Beginner programmers often overemphasize algorithms when preparing for interviews. Good algorithms should be identified and used when needed, but memorizing them won't make you a programming genius.

However, learning your language's data structures' strengths and shortcomings will make you a better developer.

The improper data structure shouts "newbie coding" here.

Let me give you a few instances of data structures without teaching you:

Managing records with arrays instead of maps (objects).

Most data structure mistakes include using lists instead of maps to manage records. Use a map to organize a list of records.

This list of records has an identifier to look up each entry. Lists for scalar values are OK and frequently superior, especially if the focus is pushing values to the list.

Arrays and objects are the most common JavaScript list and map structures, respectively (there is also a map structure in modern JavaScript).

Lists over maps for record management often fail. I recommend always using this point, even though it only applies to huge collections. This is crucial because maps are faster than lists in looking up records by identifier.

Stackless

Simple recursive functions are often tempting when writing recursive programming. In single-threaded settings, optimizing recursive code is difficult.

Recursive function returns determine code optimization. Optimizing a recursive function that returns two or more calls to itself is harder than optimizing a single call.

Beginners overlook the alternative to recursive functions. Use Stack. Push function calls to a stack and start popping them out to traverse them back.

10) Worsening the current code

Imagine this:

Add an item to that room. You might want to store that object anywhere as it's a mess. You can finish in seconds.

Not with messy code. Do not worsen! Keep the code cleaner than when you started.

Clean the room above to place the new object. If the item is clothing, clear a route to the closet. That's proper execution.

The following bad habits frequently make code worse:

  • code duplication You are merely duplicating code and creating more chaos if you copy/paste a code block and then alter just the line after that. This would be equivalent to adding another chair with a lower base rather than purchasing a new chair with a height-adjustable seat in the context of the aforementioned dirty room example. Always keep abstraction in mind, and use it when appropriate.

  • utilizing configuration files not at all. A configuration file should contain the value you need to utilize if it may differ in certain circumstances or at different times. A configuration file should contain a value if you need to use it across numerous lines of code. Every time you add a new value to the code, simply ask yourself: "Does this value belong in a configuration file?" The most likely response is "yes."

  • using temporary variables and pointless conditional statements. Every if-statement represents a logic branch that should at the very least be tested twice. When avoiding conditionals doesn't compromise readability, it should be done. The main issue with this is that branch logic is being used to extend an existing function rather than creating a new function. Are you altering the code at the appropriate level, or should you go think about the issue at a higher level every time you feel you need an if-statement or a new function variable?

This code illustrates superfluous if-statements:

function isOdd(number) {
  if (number % 2 === 1) {
    return true;
  } else {
    return false;
  }
}

Can you spot the biggest issue with the isOdd function above?

Unnecessary if-statement. Similar code:

function isOdd(number) {
  return (number % 2 === 1);
};

11) Making remarks on things that are obvious

I've learnt to avoid comments. Most code comments can be renamed.

instead of:

// This function sums only odd numbers in an array
const sum = (val) => {
  return val.reduce((a, b) => {
    if (b % 2 === 1) { // If the current number is odd
      a+=b;            // Add current number to accumulator
    }
    return a;          // The accumulator
  }, 0);
};

Commentless code looks like this:

const sumOddValues = (array) => {
  return array.reduce((accumulator, currentNumber) => {
    if (isOdd(currentNumber)) { 
      return accumulator + currentNumber;
    }
    return accumulator;
  }, 0);
};

Better function and argument names eliminate most comments. Remember that before commenting.

Sometimes you have to use comments to clarify the code. This is when your comments should answer WHY this code rather than WHAT it does.

Do not write a WHAT remark to clarify the code. Here are some unnecessary comments that clutter code:

// create a variable and initialize it to 0
let sum = 0;
// Loop over array
array.forEach(
  // For each number in the array
  (number) => {
    // Add the current number to the sum variable
    sum += number;
  }
);

Avoid that programmer. Reject that code. Remove such comments if necessary. Most importantly, teach programmers how awful these remarks are. Tell programmers who publish remarks like this that they may lose their jobs. That terrible.

12) Skipping tests

I'll simplify. If you develop code without tests because you think you're an excellent programmer, you're a rookie.

If you're not writing tests in code, you're probably testing manually. Every few lines of code in a web application will be refreshed and interacted with. Also. Manual code testing is fine. To learn how to automatically test your code, manually test it. After testing your application, return to your code editor and write code to automatically perform the same interaction the next time you add code.

Human. After each code update, you will forget to test all successful validations. Automate it!

Before writing code to fulfill validations, guess or design them. TDD is real. It improves your feature design thinking.

If you can use TDD, even partially, do so.

13) Making the assumption that if something is working, it must be right.

See this sumOddValues function. Is it flawed?

const sumOddValues = (array) => {
  return array.reduce((accumulator, currentNumber) => {
    if (currentNumber % 2 === 1) { 
      return accumulator + currentNumber;
    }
    return accumulator;
  });
};
 
 
console.assert(
  sumOddValues([1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) === 9
);

Verified. Good life. Correct?

Code above is incomplete. It handles some scenarios correctly, including the assumption used, but it has many other issues. I'll list some:

#1: No empty input handling. What happens when the function is called without arguments? That results in an error revealing the function's implementation:

TypeError: Cannot read property 'reduce' of undefined.

Two main factors indicate faulty code.

  • Your function's users shouldn't come across implementation-related information.

  • The user cannot benefit from the error. Simply said, they were unable to use your function. They would be aware that they misused the function if the error was more obvious about the usage issue. You might decide to make the function throw a custom exception, for instance:

TypeError: Cannot execute function for empty list.

Instead of returning an error, your method should disregard empty input and return a sum of 0. This case requires action.

Problem #2: No input validation. What happens if the function is invoked with a text, integer, or object instead of an array?

The function now throws:

sumOddValues(42);
TypeError: array.reduce is not a function

Unfortunately, array. cut's a function!

The function labels anything you call it with (42 in the example above) as array because we named the argument array. The error says 42.reduce is not a function.

See how that error confuses? An mistake like:

TypeError: 42 is not an array, dude.

Edge-cases are #1 and #2. These edge-cases are typical, but you should also consider less obvious ones. Negative numbers—what happens?

sumOddValues([1, 2, 3, 4, 5, -13]) // => still 9

-13's unusual. Is this the desired function behavior? Error? Should it sum negative numbers? Should it keep ignoring negative numbers? You may notice the function should have been titled sumPositiveOddNumbers.

This decision is simple. The more essential point is that if you don't write a test case to document your decision, future function maintainers won't know if you ignored negative values intentionally or accidentally.

It’s not a bug. It’s a feature. — Someone who forgot a test case

#3: Valid cases are not tested. Forget edge-cases, this function mishandles a straightforward case:

sumOddValues([2, 1, 3, 4, 5]) // => 11

The 2 above was wrongly included in sum.

The solution is simple: reduce accepts a second input to initialize the accumulator. Reduce will use the first value in the collection as the accumulator if that argument is not provided, like in the code above. The sum included the test case's first even value.

This test case should have been included in the tests along with many others, such as all-even numbers, a list with 0 in it, and an empty list.

Newbie code also has rudimentary tests that disregard edge-cases.

14) Adhering to Current Law

Unless you're a lone supercoder, you'll encounter stupid code. Beginners don't identify it and assume it's decent code because it works and has been in the codebase for a while.

Worse, if the terrible code uses bad practices, the newbie may be enticed to use them elsewhere in the codebase since they learnt them from good code.

A unique condition may have pushed the developer to write faulty code. This is a nice spot for a thorough note that informs newbies about that condition and why the code is written that way.

Beginners should presume that undocumented code they don't understand is bad. Ask. Enquire. Blame it!

If the code's author is dead or can't remember it, research and understand it. Only after understanding the code can you judge its quality. Before that, presume nothing.

15) Being fixated on best practices

Best practices damage. It suggests no further research. Best practice ever. No doubts!

No best practices. Today's programming language may have good practices.

Programming best practices are now considered bad practices.

Time will reveal better methods. Focus on your strengths, not best practices.

Do not do anything because you read a quote, saw someone else do it, or heard it is a recommended practice. This contains all my article advice! Ask questions, challenge theories, know your options, and make informed decisions.

16) Being preoccupied with performance

Premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming — Donald Knuth (1974)

I think Donald Knuth's advice is still relevant today, even though programming has changed.

Do not optimize code if you cannot measure the suspected performance problem.

Optimizing before code execution is likely premature. You may possibly be wasting time optimizing.

There are obvious optimizations to consider when writing new code. You must not flood the event loop or block the call stack in Node.js. Remember this early optimization. Will this code block the call stack?

Avoid non-obvious code optimization without measurements. If done, your performance boost may cause new issues.

Stop optimizing unmeasured performance issues.

17) Missing the End-User Experience as a Goal

How can an app add a feature easily? Look at it from your perspective or in the existing User Interface. Right? Add it to the form if the feature captures user input. Add it to your nested menu of links if it adds a link to a page.

Avoid that developer. Be a professional who empathizes with customers. They imagine this feature's consumers' needs and behavior. They focus on making the feature easy to find and use, not just adding it to the software.

18) Choosing the incorrect tool for the task

Every programmer has their preferred tools. Most tools are good for one thing and bad for others.

The worst tool for screwing in a screw is a hammer. Do not use your favorite hammer on a screw. Don't use Amazon's most popular hammer on a screw.

A true beginner relies on tool popularity rather than problem fit.

You may not know the best tools for a project. You may know the best tool. However, it wouldn't rank high. You must learn your tools and be open to new ones.

Some coders shun new tools. They like their tools and don't want to learn new ones. I can relate, but it's wrong.

You can build a house slowly with basic tools or rapidly with superior tools. You must learn and use new tools.

19) Failing to recognize that data issues are caused by code issues

Programs commonly manage data. The software will add, delete, and change records.

Even the simplest programming errors can make data unpredictable. Especially if the same defective application validates all data.

Code-data relationships may be confusing for beginners. They may employ broken code in production since feature X is not critical. Buggy coding may cause hidden data integrity issues.

Worse, deploying code that corrected flaws without fixing minor data problems caused by these defects will only collect more data problems that take the situation into the unrecoverable-level category.

How do you avoid these issues? Simply employ numerous data integrity validation levels. Use several interfaces. Front-end, back-end, network, and database validations. If not, apply database constraints.

Use all database constraints when adding columns and tables:

  • If a column has a NOT NULL constraint, null values will be rejected for that column. If your application expects that field has a value, your database should designate its source as not null.

  • If a column has a UNIQUE constraint, the entire table cannot include duplicate values for that column. This is ideal for a username or email field on a Users table, for instance.

  • For the data to be accepted, a CHECK constraint, or custom expression, must evaluate to true. For instance, you can apply a check constraint to ensure that the values of a normal % column must fall within the range of 0 and 100.

  • With a PRIMARY KEY constraint, the values of the columns must be both distinct and not null. This one is presumably what you're utilizing. To distinguish the records in each table, the database needs have a primary key.

  • A FOREIGN KEY constraint requires that the values in one database column, typically a primary key, match those in another table column.

Transaction apathy is another data integrity issue for newbies. If numerous actions affect the same data source and depend on each other, they must be wrapped in a transaction that can be rolled back if one fails.

20) Reinventing the Wheel

Tricky. Some programming wheels need reinvention. Programming is undefined. New requirements and changes happen faster than any team can handle.

Instead of modifying the wheel we all adore, maybe we should rethink it if you need a wheel that spins at varied speeds depending on the time of day. If you don't require a non-standard wheel, don't reinvent it. Use the darn wheel.

Wheel brands can be hard to choose from. Research and test before buying! Most software wheels are free and transparent. Internal design quality lets you evaluate coding wheels. Try open-source wheels. Debug and fix open-source software simply. They're easily replaceable. In-house support is also easy.

If you need a wheel, don't buy a new automobile and put your maintained car on top. Do not include a library to use a few functions. Lodash in JavaScript is the finest example. Import shuffle to shuffle an array. Don't import lodash.

21) Adopting the incorrect perspective on code reviews

Beginners often see code reviews as criticism. Dislike them. Not appreciated. Even fear them.

Incorrect. If so, modify your mindset immediately. Learn from every code review. Salute them. Observe. Most crucial, thank reviewers who teach you.

Always learning code. Accept it. Most code reviews teach something new. Use these for learning.

You may need to correct the reviewer. If your code didn't make that evident, it may need to be changed. If you must teach your reviewer, remember that teaching is one of the most enjoyable things a programmer can do.

22) Not Using Source Control

Newbies often underestimate Git's capabilities.

Source control is more than sharing your modifications. It's much bigger. Clear history is source control. The history of coding will assist address complex problems. Commit messages matter. They are another way to communicate your implementations, and utilizing them with modest commits helps future maintainers understand how the code got where it is.

Commit early and often with present-tense verbs. Summarize your messages but be detailed. If you need more than a few lines, your commit is too long. Rebase!

Avoid needless commit messages. Commit summaries should not list new, changed, or deleted files. Git commands can display that list from the commit object. The summary message would be noise. I think a big commit has many summaries per file altered.

Source control involves discoverability. You can discover the commit that introduced a function and see its context if you doubt its need or design. Commits can even pinpoint which code caused a bug. Git has a binary search within commits (bisect) to find the bug-causing commit.

Source control can be used before commits to great effect. Staging changes, patching selectively, resetting, stashing, editing, applying, diffing, reversing, and others enrich your coding flow. Know, use, and enjoy them.

I consider a Git rookie someone who knows less functionalities.

23) Excessive Use of Shared State

Again, this is not about functional programming vs. other paradigms. That's another article.

Shared state is problematic and should be avoided if feasible. If not, use shared state as little as possible.

As a new programmer, I didn't know that all variables represent shared states. All variables in the same scope can change its data. Global scope reduces shared state span. Keep new states in limited scopes and avoid upward leakage.

When numerous resources modify common state in the same event loop tick, the situation becomes severe (in event-loop-based environments). Races happen.

This shared state race condition problem may encourage a rookie to utilize a timer, especially if they have a data lock issue. Red flag. No. Never accept it.

24) Adopting the Wrong Mentality Toward Errors

Errors are good. Progress. They indicate a simple way to improve.

Expert programmers enjoy errors. Newbies detest them.

If these lovely red error warnings irritate you, modify your mindset. Consider them helpers. Handle them. Use them to advance.

Some errors need exceptions. Plan for user-defined exceptions. Ignore some mistakes. Crash and exit the app.

25) Ignoring rest periods

Humans require mental breaks. Take breaks. In the zone, you'll forget breaks. Another symptom of beginners. No compromises. Make breaks mandatory in your process. Take frequent pauses. Take a little walk to plan your next move. Reread the code.

This has been a long post. You deserve a break.

Neeramitra Reddy

Neeramitra Reddy

1 year ago

The best life advice I've ever heard could very well come from 50 Cent.

He built a $40M hip-hop empire from street drug dealing.

Free for creative use by PCMag

50 Cent was nearly killed by 9mm bullets.

Before 50 Cent, Curtis Jackson sold drugs.

He sold coke to worried addicts after being orphaned at 8.

Pursuing police. Murderous hustlers and gangs. Unwitting informers.

Despite his hard life, his hip-hop career was a success.

An assassination attempt ended his career at the start.

What sane producer would want to deal with a man entrenched in crime?

Most would have drowned in self-pity and drank themselves to death.

But 50 Cent isn't most people. Life on the streets had given him fearlessness.

“Having a brush with death, or being reminded in a dramatic way of the shortness of our lives, can have a positive, therapeutic effect. So it is best to make every moment count, to have a sense of urgency about life.” ― 50 Cent, The 50th Law

50 released a series of mixtapes that caught Eminem's attention and earned him a $50 million deal!

50 Cents turned death into life.

Things happen; that is life.

We want problems solved.

Every human has problems, whether it's Jeff Bezos swimming in his billions, Obama in his comfortable retirement home, or Dan Bilzerian with his hired bikini models.

All problems.

Problems churn through life. solve one, another appears.

It's harsh. Life's unfair. We can face reality or run from it.

The latter will worsen your issues.

“The firmer your grasp on reality, the more power you will have to alter it for your purposes.” — 50 Cent, The 50th Law

In a fantasy-obsessed world, 50 Cent loves reality.

Wish for better problem-solving skills rather than problem-free living.

Don't wish, work.

We All Have the True Power of Alchemy

Humans are arrogant enough to think the universe cares about them.

That things happen as if the universe notices our nanosecond existences.

Things simply happen. Period.

By changing our perspective, we can turn good things bad.

The alchemists' search for the philosopher's stone may have symbolized the ability to turn our lead-like perceptions into gold.

Negativity bias tints our perceptions.

Normal sparring broke your elbow? Rest and rethink your training. Fired? You can improve your skills and get a better job.

Consider Curtis if he had fallen into despair.

The legend we call 50 Cent wouldn’t have existed.

The Best Lesson in Life Ever?

Neither avoid nor fear your reality.

That simple sentence contains every self-help tip and life lesson on Earth.

When reality is all there is, why fear it? avoidance?

Or worse, fleeing?

To accept reality, we must eliminate the words should be, could be, wish it were, and hope it will be.

It is. Period.

Only by accepting reality's chaos can you shape your life.

“Behind me is infinite power. Before me is endless possibility, around me is boundless opportunity. My strength is mental, physical and spiritual.” — 50 Cent

Alexander Nguyen

Alexander Nguyen

1 year ago

How can you bargain for $300,000 at Google?

Don’t give a number

Photo by Vitaly Taranov on Unsplash

Google pays its software engineers generously. While many of their employees are competent, they disregard a critical skill to maximize their pay.

Negotiation.

If Google employees have never negotiated, they're as helpless as anyone else.

In this piece, I'll reveal a compensation negotiation tip that will set you apart.

The Fallacy of Negotiating

How do you negotiate your salary? “Just give them a number twice the amount you really want”. - Someplace on the internet

Above is typical negotiation advice. If you ask for more than you want, the recruiter may meet you halfway.

It seems logical and great, but here's why you shouldn't follow that advice.

Haitian hostage rescue

In 1977, an official's aunt was kidnapped in Haiti. The kidnappers demanded $150,000 for the aunt's life. It seems reasonable until you realize why kidnappers want $150,000.

FBI detective and negotiator Chris Voss researched why they demanded so much.

“So they could party through the weekend”

When he realized their ransom was for partying, he offered $4,751 and a CD stereo. Criminals freed the aunt.

These thieves gave 31.57x their estimated amount and got a fraction. You shouldn't trust these thieves to negotiate your compensation.

What happened?

Negotiating your offer and Haiti

This narrative teaches you how to negotiate with a large number.

You can and will be talked down.

If a recruiter asks your wage expectation and you offer double, be ready to explain why.

If you can't justify your request, you may be offered less. The recruiter will notice and talk you down.

Reasonably,

  • a tiny bit more than the present amount you earn

  • a small premium over an alternative offer

  • a little less than the role's allotted amount

Real-World Illustration

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Recruiter: What’s your expected salary? Candidate: (I know the role is usually $100,000) $200,000 Recruiter: How much are you compensated in your current role? Candidate: $90,000 Recruiter: We’d be excited to offer you $95,000 for your experiences for the role.

So Why Do They Even Ask?

Recruiters ask for a number to negotiate a lower one. Asking yourself limits you.

You'll rarely get more than you asked for, and your request can be lowered.

The takeaway from all of this is to never give an expected compensation.

Tell them you haven't thought about it when you applied.

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Andy Walker

Andy Walker

1 year ago

Why personal ambition and poor leadership caused Google layoffs

Google announced 6% layoffs recently (or 12,000 people). This aligns it with most tech companies. A publicly contrite CEO explained that they had overhired during the COVID-19 pandemic boom and had to address it, but they were sorry and took full responsibility. I thought this was "bullshit" too. Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, and others must feel similarly. I spent 10 years at Google, and these things don't reflect well on the company's leaders.

All publicly listed companies have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their shareholders. Dodge vs. Ford Motor Company established this (1919). Henry Ford wanted to reduce shareholder payments to offer cheaper cars and better wages. Ford stated.

My ambition is to employ still more men, to spread the benefits of this industrial system to the greatest possible number, to help them build up their lives and their homes. To do this we are putting the greatest share of our profits back in the business.

The Dodge brothers, who owned 10% of Ford, opposed this and sued Ford for the payments to start their own company. They won, preventing Ford from raising prices or salaries. If you have a vocal group of shareholders with the resources to sue you, you must prove you are acting in their best interests. Companies prioritize shareholders. Giving activist investors a stick to threaten you almost enshrines short-term profit over long-term thinking.

This underpins Google's current issues. Institutional investors who can sue Google see it as a wasteful company they can exploit. That doesn't mean you have to maximize profits (thanks to those who pointed out my ignorance of US corporate law in the comments and on HN), but it allows pressure. I feel for those navigating this. This is about unrestrained capitalism.

When Google went public, Larry Page and Sergey Brin knew the risks and worked hard to keep control. In their Founders' Letter to investors, they tried to set expectations for the company's operations.

Our long-term focus as a private company has paid off. Public companies do the same. We believe outside pressures lead companies to sacrifice long-term opportunities to meet quarterly market expectations.

The company has transformed since that letter. The company has nearly 200,000 full-time employees and a trillion-dollar market cap. Large investors have bought company stock because it has been a good long-term bet. Why are they restless now?

Other big tech companies emerged and fought for top talent. This has caused rising compensation packages. Google has also grown rapidly (roughly 22,000 people hired to the end of 2022). At $300,000 median compensation, those 22,000 people added $6.6 billion in salary overheads in 2022. Exorbitant. If the company still makes $16 billion every quarter, maybe not. Investors wonder if this value has returned.

Investors are right. Google uses people wastefully. However, by bluntly reducing headcount, they're not addressing the root causes and hurting themselves. No studies show that downsizing this way boosts productivity. There is plenty of evidence that they'll lose out because people will be risk-averse and distrust their leadership.

The company's approach also stinks. Finding out that you no longer have a job because you can’t log in anymore (sometimes in cases where someone is on call for protecting your production systems) is no way to fire anyone. Being with a narcissistic sociopath is like being abused. First, you receive praise and fancy perks for making the cut. You're fired by text and ghosted. You're told to appreciate the generous severance package. This firing will devastate managers and teams. This type of firing will take years to recover self-esteem. Senior management contributed to this. They chose the expedient answer, possibly by convincing themselves they were managing risk and taking the Macbeth approach of “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly”.

Recap. Google's leadership did a stupid thing—mass firing—in a stupid way. How do we get rid of enough people to make investors happier? and "have 6% less people." Empathetic leaders should not emulate Elon Musk. There is no humane way to fire 12,000 people, but there are better ways. Why is Google so wasteful?

Ambition answers this. There aren't enough VP positions for a group of highly motivated, ambitious, and (increasingly) ruthless people. I’ve loitered around the edges of this world and a large part of my value was to insulate my teams from ever having to experience it. It’s like Game of Thrones played out through email and calendar and over video call.

Your company must look a certain way to be promoted to director or higher. You need the right people at the right levels under you. Long-term, growing your people will naturally happen if you're working on important things. This takes time, and you're never more than 6–18 months from a reorg that could start you over. Ambitious people also tend to be impatient. So, what do you do?

Hiring and vanity projects. To shape your company, you hire at the right levels. You value vanity metrics like active users over product utility. Your promo candidates get through by subverting the promotion process. In your quest for growth, you avoid performance managing people out. You avoid confronting toxic peers because you need their support for promotion. Your cargo cult gets you there.

Its ease makes Google wasteful. Since they don't face market forces, the employees don't see it as a business. Why would you do when the ads business is so profitable? Complacency causes senior leaders to prioritize their own interests. Empires collapse. Personal ambition often trumped doing the right thing for users, the business, or employees. Leadership's ambition over business is the root cause. Vanity metrics, mass hiring, and vague promises have promoted people to VP. Google goes above and beyond to protect senior leaders.

The decision-makers and beneficiaries are not the layoffees. Stock price increase beneficiaries. The people who will post on LinkedIn how it is about misjudging the market and how they’re so sorry and take full responsibility. While accumulating wealth, the dark room dwellers decide who stays and who goes. The billionaire investors. Google should start by addressing its bloated senior management, but — as they say — turkeys don't vote for Christmas. It should examine its wastefulness and make tough choices to fix it. A 6% cut is a blunt tool that admits you're not running your business properly. why aren’t the people running the business the ones shortly to be entering the job market?

This won't fix Google's wastefulness. The executives may never regain trust after their approach. Suppressed creativity. Business won't improve. Google will have lost its founding vision and us all. Large investors know they can force Google's CEO to yield. The rich will get richer and rationalize leaving 12,000 people behind. Cycles repeat.

It doesn’t have to be this way. In 2013, Nintendo's CEO said he wouldn't fire anyone for shareholders. Switch debuted in 2017. Nintendo's stock has increased by nearly five times, or 19% a year (including the drop most of the stock market experienced last year). Google wasted 12,000 talented people. To please rich people.

INTΞGRITY team

INTΞGRITY team

1 year ago

Privacy Policy

Effective date: August 31, 2022

This Privacy Statement describes how INTΞGRITY ("we," or "us") collects, uses, and discloses your personal information. This Privacy Statement applies when you use our websites, mobile applications, and other online products and services that link to this Privacy Statement (collectively, our "Services"), communicate with our customer care team, interact with us on social media, or otherwise interact with us.

This Privacy Policy may be modified from time to time. If we make modifications, we will update the date at the top of this policy and, in certain instances, we may give you extra notice (such as adding a statement to our website or providing you with a notification). We encourage you to routinely review this Privacy Statement to remain informed about our information practices and available options.

INFORMATION COLLECTION

The Data You Provide to Us

We collect information that you directly supply to us. When you register an account, fill out a form, submit or post material through our Services, contact us via third-party platforms, request customer assistance, or otherwise communicate with us, you provide us with information directly. We may collect your name, display name, username, bio, email address, company information, your published content, including your avatar image, photos, posts, responses, and any other information you voluntarily give.

In certain instances, we may collect the information you submit about third parties. We will use your information to fulfill your request and will not send emails to your contacts unrelated to your request unless they separately opt to receive such communications or connect with us in some other way.

We do not collect payment details via the Services.

Automatically Collected Information When You Communicate with Us

In certain cases, we automatically collect the following information:

We gather data regarding your behavior on our Services, such as your reading history and when you share links, follow users, highlight posts, and like posts.

Device and Usage Information: We gather information about the device and network you use to access our Services, such as your hardware model, operating system version, mobile network, IP address, unique device identifiers, browser type, and app version. We also collect information regarding your activities on our Services, including access times, pages viewed, links clicked, and the page you visited immediately prior to accessing our Services.

Information Obtained Through Cookies and Comparable Tracking Technologies: We collect information about you through tracking technologies including cookies and web beacons. Cookies are little data files kept on your computer's hard disk or device's memory that assist us in enhancing our Services and your experience, determining which areas and features of our Services are the most popular, and tracking the number of visitors. Web beacons (also known as "pixel tags" or "clear GIFs") are electronic pictures that we employ on our Services and in our communications to assist with cookie delivery, session tracking, and usage analysis. We also partner with third-party analytics providers who use cookies, web beacons, device identifiers, and other technologies to collect information regarding your use of our Services and other websites and applications, including your IP address, web browser, mobile network information, pages viewed, time spent on pages or in mobile apps, and links clicked. INTΞGRITY and others may use your information to, among other things, analyze and track data, evaluate the popularity of certain content, present content tailored to your interests on our Services, and better comprehend your online activities. See Your Options for additional information on cookies and how to disable them.

Information Obtained from Outside Sources

We acquire information from external sources. We may collect information about you, for instance, through social networks, accounting service providers, and data analytics service providers. In addition, if you create or log into your INTΞGRITY account via a third-party platform (such as Apple, Facebook, Google, or Twitter), we will have access to certain information from that platform, including your name, lists of friends or followers, birthday, and profile picture, in accordance with the authorization procedures determined by that platform.

We may derive information about you or make assumptions based on the data we gather. We may deduce your location based on your IP address or your reading interests based on your reading history, for instance.

USAGE OF INFORMATION

We use the information we collect to deliver, maintain, and enhance our Services, including publishing and distributing user-generated content, and customizing the posts you see. Additionally, we utilize collected information to: create and administer your INTΞGRITY account;

Send transaction-related information, including confirmations, receipts, and user satisfaction surveys;

Send you technical notices, security alerts, and administrative and support messages;

Respond to your comments and queries and offer support;

Communicate with you about new INTΞGRITY content, goods, services, and features, as well as other news and information that we believe may be of interest to you (see Your Choices for details on how to opt out of these communications at any time);

Monitor and evaluate usage, trends, and activities associated with our Services;

Detect, investigate, and prevent security incidents and other harmful, misleading, fraudulent, or illegal conduct, and safeguard INTΞGRITY’s and others' rights and property;

Comply with our legal and financial requirements; and Carry out any other purpose specified to you at the time the information was obtained.

SHARING OF INFORMATION

We share personal information where required by law or as otherwise specified in this policy:

Personal information is shared with other Service users. If you use our Services to publish content, make comments, or send private messages, for instance, certain information about you, such as your name, photo, bio, and other account information you may supply, as well as information about your activity on our Services, will be available to others (e.g., your followers and who you follow, recent posts, likes, highlights, and responses).

We share personal information with vendors, service providers, and consultants who require access to such information to perform services on our behalf, such as companies that assist us with web hosting, storage, and other infrastructure, analytics, fraud prevention, and security, customer service, communications, and marketing.

We may release personally identifiable information if we think that doing so is in line with or required by any relevant law or legal process, including authorized demands from public authorities to meet national security or law enforcement obligations. If we intend to disclose your personal information in response to a court order, we will provide you with prior notice so that you may contest the disclosure (for example, by seeking court intervention), unless we are prohibited by law or believe that doing so could endanger others or lead to illegal conduct. We shall object to inappropriate legal requests for information regarding users of our Services.

If we believe your actions are inconsistent with our user agreements or policies, if we suspect you have violated the law, or if we believe it is necessary to defend the rights, property, and safety of INTΞGRITY, our users, the public, or others, we may disclose your personal information.

We share personal information with our attorneys and other professional advisers when necessary for obtaining counsel or otherwise protecting and managing our business interests.

We may disclose personal information in conjunction with or during talks for any merger, sale of corporate assets, financing, or purchase of all or part of our business by another firm.

Personal information is transferred between and among INTΞGRITY, its current and future parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and other companies under common ownership and management.

We will only share your personal information with your permission or at your instruction.

We also disclose aggregated or anonymized data that cannot be used to identify you.

IMPLEMENTATIONS FROM THIRD PARTIES

Some of the content shown on our Services is not hosted by INTΞGRITY. Users are able to publish content hosted by a third party but embedded in our pages ("Embed"). When you interact with an Embed, it can send information to the hosting third party just as if you had visited the hosting third party's website directly. When you load an INTΞGRITY post page with a YouTube video Embed and view the video, for instance, YouTube collects information about your behavior, such as your IP address and how much of the video you watch. INTΞGRITY has no control over the information that third parties acquire via Embeds or what they do with it. This Privacy Statement does not apply to data gathered via Embeds. Before interacting with the Embed, it is recommended that you review the privacy policy of the third party hosting the Embed, which governs any information the Embed gathers.

INFORMATION TRANSFER TO THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER NATIONS

INTΞGRITY’s headquarters are located in the United States, and we have operations and service suppliers in other nations. Therefore, we and our service providers may transmit, store, or access your personal information in jurisdictions that may not provide a similar degree of data protection to your home jurisdiction. For instance, we transfer personal data to Amazon Web Services, one of our service providers that processes personal information on our behalf in numerous data centers throughout the world, including those indicated above. We shall take measures to guarantee that your personal information is adequately protected in the jurisdictions where it is processed.

YOUR SETTINGS

Account Specifics

You can access, modify, delete, and export your account information at any time by login into the Services and visiting the Settings page. Please be aware that if you delete your account, we may preserve certain information on you as needed by law or for our legitimate business purposes.

Cookies

The majority of web browsers accept cookies by default. You can often configure your browser to delete or refuse cookies if you wish. Please be aware that removing or rejecting cookies may impact the accessibility and performance of our services.

Communications

You may opt out of getting certain messages from us, such as digests, newsletters, and activity notifications, by following the instructions contained within those communications or by visiting the Settings page of your account. Even if you opt out, we may still send you emails regarding your account or our ongoing business relationships.

Mobile Push Notifications

We may send push notifications to your mobile device with your permission. You can cancel these messages at any time by modifying your mobile device's notification settings.

YOUR CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS

The California Consumer Privacy Act, or "CCPA" (Cal. Civ. Code 1798.100 et seq. ), grants California residents some rights regarding their personal data. If you are a California resident, you are subject to this clause.

We have collected the following categories of personal information over the past year: identifiers, commercial information, internet or other electronic network activity information, and conclusions. Please refer to the section titled "Collection of Information" for specifics regarding the data points we gather and the sorts of sources from which we acquire them. We collect personal information for the business and marketing purposes outlined in the section on Use of Information. In the past 12 months, we have shared the following types of personal information to the following groups of recipients for business purposes:

Category of Personal Information: Identifiers
Categories of Recipients: Analytics Providers, Communication Providers, Custom Service Providers, Fraud Prevention and Security Providers, Infrastructure Providers, Marketing Providers, Payment Processors

Category of Personal Information: Commercial Information
Categories of Recipients: Analytics Providers, Infrastructure Providers, Payment Processors

Category of Personal Information: Internet or Other Electronic Network Activity Information
Categories of Recipients: Analytics Providers, Infrastructure Providers

Category of Personal Information: Inferences
Categories of Recipients: Analytics Providers, Infrastructure Providers

INTΞGRITY does not sell personally identifiable information.

You have the right, subject to certain limitations: (1) to request more information about the categories and specific pieces of personal information we collect, use, and disclose about you; (2) to request the deletion of your personal information; (3) to opt out of any future sales of your personal information; and (4) to not be discriminated against for exercising these rights. You may submit these requests by email to hello@int3grity.com. We shall not treat you differently if you exercise your rights under the CCPA.

If we receive your request from an authorized agent, we may request proof that you have granted the agent a valid power of attorney or that the agent otherwise possesses valid written authorization to submit requests on your behalf. This may involve requiring identity verification. Please contact us if you are an authorized agent wishing to make a request.

ADDITIONAL DISCLOSURES FOR INDIVIDUALS IN EUROPE

This section applies to you if you are based in the European Economic Area ("EEA"), the United Kingdom, or Switzerland and have specific rights and safeguards regarding the processing of your personal data under relevant law.

Legal Justification for Processing

We will process your personal information based on the following legal grounds:

To fulfill our obligations under our agreement with you (e.g., providing the products and services you requested).

When we have a legitimate interest in processing your personal information to operate our business or to safeguard our legitimate interests, we will do so (e.g., to provide, maintain, and improve our products and services, conduct data analytics, and communicate with you).

To meet our legal responsibilities (e.g., to maintain a record of your consents and track those who have opted out of non-administrative communications).

If we have your permission to do so (e.g., when you opt in to receive non-administrative communications from us). When consent is the legal basis for our processing of your personal information, you may at any time withdraw your consent.

Data Retention

We retain the personal information associated with your account so long as your account is active. If you close your account, your account information will be deleted within 14 days. We retain other personal data for as long as is required to fulfill the objectives for which it was obtained and for other legitimate business purposes, such as to meet our legal, regulatory, or other compliance responsibilities.

Data Access Requests

You have the right to request access to the personal data we hold on you and to get your data in a portable format, to request that your personal data be rectified or erased, and to object to or request that we restrict particular processing, subject to certain limitations. To assert your legal rights:

If you sign up for an INTΞGRITY account, you can request an export of your personal information at any time via the Settings website, or by visiting Settings and selecting Account from inside our app.

You can edit the information linked with your account on the Settings website, or by navigating to Settings and then Account in our app, and the Customize Your Interests page.

You may withdraw consent at any time by deleting your account via the Settings page, or by visiting Settings and then selecting Account within our app (except to the extent INTΞGRITY is prevented by law from deleting your information).

You may object to the use of your personal information at any time by contacting hello@int3grity.com.

Questions or Complaints

If we are unable to settle your concern over our processing of personal data, you have the right to file a complaint with the Data Protection Authority in your country. The links below provide access to the contact information for your Data Protection Authority.

For people in the EEA, please visit https://edpb.europa.eu/about-edpb/board/members en.

For persons in the United Kingdom, please visit https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us.

For people in Switzerland: https://www.edoeb.admin.ch/edoeb/en/home/the-fdpic/contact.html

CONTACT US

Please contact us at hello@int3grity.com if you have any queries regarding this Privacy Statement.

Muthinja

Muthinja

1 year ago

Why don't you relaunch my startup projects?

Open to ideas or acquisitions

Failure is an unavoidable aspect of life, yet many recoil at the word.

I've worked on unrelated startup projects. This is a list of products I developed (often as the tech lead or co-founder) and why they failed to launch.

Chess Bet (Betting)

As a chess player who plays 5 games a day and has an ELO rating of 2100, I tried to design a chess engine to rival stockfish and Houdini.

While constructing my chess engine, my cofounder asked me about building a p2p chess betting app. Chess Bet. There couldn't be a better time.

Two people in different locations could play a staked game. The winner got 90% of the bet and we got 10%. The business strategy was clear, but our mini-launch was unusual.

People started employing the same cheat engines I mentioned, causing user churn and defaming our product.

It was the first programming problem I couldn't solve after building a cheat detection system based on player move strengths and prior games. Chess.com, the most famous online chess software, still suffers from this.

We decided to pivot because we needed an expensive betting license.

We relaunched as Chess MVP after deciding to focus on chess learning. A platform for teachers to create chess puzzles and teach content. Several chess students used our product, but the target market was too tiny.

We chose to quit rather than persevere or pivot.

BodaCare (Insure Tech)

‘BodaBoda’ in Swahili means Motorcycle. My Dad approached me in 2019 (when I was working for a health tech business) about establishing an Insurtech/fintech solution for motorbike riders to pay for insurance using SNPL.

We teamed up with an underwriter to market motorcycle insurance. Once they had enough premiums, they'd get an insurance sticker in the mail. We made it better by splitting the cover in two, making it more reasonable for motorcyclists struggling with lump-sum premiums.

Lack of capital and changing customer behavior forced us to close, with 100 motorcyclists paying 0.5 USD every day. Our unit econ didn't make sense, and CAC and retention capital only dug us deeper.

Circle (Social Networking)

Having learned from both product failures, I began to understand what worked and what didn't. While reading through Instagram, an idea struck me.

Suppose social media weren't virtual.

Imagine meeting someone on your way home. Like-minded person

People were excited about social occasions after covid restrictions were eased. Anything to escape. I just built a university student-popular experiences startup. Again, there couldn't be a better time.

I started the Android app. I launched it on Google Beta and oh my! 200 people joined in two days.

It works by signaling if people are in a given place and allowing users to IM in hopes of meeting up in near real-time. Playstore couldn't deploy the app despite its success in beta for unknown reasons. I appealed unsuccessfully.

My infrastructure quickly lost users because I lacked funding.

In conclusion

This essay contains many failures, some of which might have been avoided and others not, but they were crucial learning points in my startup path.

If you liked any idea, I have the source code on Github.

Happy reading until then!