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Topics - benali72

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1
This insightful article argues that the "teaching kids to code" movement isn't about helping the kids, it's about ensuring cheaper IT labor for business --

www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/21/coding-education-teaching-silicon-valley-wages

Some good quotes --

 "A 2016 Gallup report found that 40% of American schools now offer coding classes – up from only 25% a few years ago.
"

"... wage levels in the tech industry have remained flat since the late 1990s. Adjusting for inflation, the average programmer earns about as much today as in 1998. "




2
Are you ready to work in IT in India?

Here's a web page for one Bangalore company that used to be all U.S. jobs. -- www.indeed.co.in/cmp/Allstate-Solutions-Private-Limited/salaries

If my currency conversions are correct, the listed salaries range from roughly $2,000 to $8,000 US dollars.

Here's thoughtful article entitled  WILL US TECH JOBS TURN ALL-INDIAN  --
http://organizationsandsocialchange.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/will-u-s-tech-jobs-turn-all-indian-the-h1b-visa-dilemma/comment-page-2/#comment-4198

And an article from 5 years ago that confirms that U.S. IT employment is shrinking due to offshoring --
www.computerworld.com/article/2502949/it-outsourcing/offshoring-shrinks-number-of-it-jobs--study-says.html

3
Discussions - Public / Place your bets... how long will CHKDSK run?
« on: June 28, 2017, 05:06:56 PM »
I'm fixing a Windows 8 pc for a friend. She tells me it's slow for everything she does.  It's a i7 u4500 with 8 gig ram and 1 T hard drive.

I got into Task Manager and found the disk usage was consistently far too high, often pegged at 100%.

I ran PC Doctor hardware diagnostics on the disk drive and it passed fine.

Now I'm running chkdsk /f /r, and it's clear it's found a problem. It been stuck at 27% for three hours!

I've heard stories of chkdsk taking days to fix a drive and conclude naturally.

What's your bet on how long this one will take?

I'll wait up to 4 days if necessary.

4
Remember when IBM was a U.S. company?

Their HQ is still here, but the employees are gone overseas.

This article -- "What's Good for IBM May Not be Good for America" tells the story --
http://www.forbesindia.com/blog/technology/h1b-visa-norms-whats-good-for-ibm-need-not-be-good-for-america/

Note the chart that shows how the company has decimated its U.S. workforce, as per its strategy.

Would you call this --

1. Good business sense
2. "The way it is"... an inevitability
3. Unpatriotic
4. Anti-patriotic

Or what? Your comments solicited.

5
FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Datamation's 2017 Salary Survey
« on: May 31, 2017, 05:56:15 PM »
Datamation's 2017 Salary Survey is available at -- www.datamation.com/careers/it-salary-2017.html

Happy reading.

7
FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Cheating in college CS courses
« on: May 29, 2017, 08:48:29 PM »
This article alleges that as attendence in coding classes has increased, so has cheating --

www.nytimes.com/2017/05/29/us/computer-science-cheating.html?action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&module=Trending&version=Full&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

I recall back in the dark ages when I was in school in computer science, the profs encouraged us to embed a unique code or our names somewhere unexpected in our programs. Then if someone copied our code (like by swiping it from the wastebasket), we could prove it was ours and that the other person cheated.

Your stories?

8
FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Non-compete agreements ?
« on: May 28, 2017, 05:17:39 PM »
I happened to see this article on how non-compete agreements are spreading to all levels of employee -- www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/business/noncompete-clauses.html?mcubz=2&_r=0

I wonder what kinds of NCA's people here have run into.

Among my contractor friends I most often see NCAs that prevent you from working for the same company that you sub-contracted with for 1 year after leaving there. Many feel that's reasonable. Otherwise the contractor might try to just cut out the intermediary that placed him with the client.

But I've seen a few NCAs that are abusive. Such as, you can't work for any of the intermediary's clients for a year (which could ban you from work in that city in the case of a major contractor). Or you can't work for any other firm in the same industry as the client.

What's been your experience? Reasonable terms or abusive?


9
Discussions - Public / The Web is slowing down
« on: May 18, 2017, 03:56:09 AM »
I connect to the internet from a variety of places. Speeds vary from 6 mpbs down to 225 kpbs (4 times a 56k modem). Most often I connect at 3 mpbs.

What I've noticed is that the web experience is definitely slower than a few years ago.

I googled and found several articles that said it's true, web pages have doubled in size in just the last 3 years to 2.1 MB each.  And websites are adding tons of video -- run by default -- often just for ads. And scripts are is getting bigger and more extensive.  (see www.google.com/search?q=the+web+is+getting+slower)

What I've found is you gotta use AD-BLOCK, FLASHBLOCK, NOSCRIPT, etc, even if you have a 3 mpbs line for decent interaction anymore.

How have you managed this? Faster line speed? Different browser? Some other clever tech solution?




10
Here's the article "Can What You Google Reveal Your True Self?" -- www.cbsnews.com/news/everybody-lies-book-data-science-seth-stephens-davidowitz/

Based on the book "Everybody Lies" -- www.amazon.com/Everybody-Lies-Internet-About-Really/dp/0062390856/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494530370&sr=8-1&keywords=everybody+lies

The premise is that people are much more honest and revealing of themselves in their google searches than they are in social media and FTF.

11
Remember this?  The IT guy who went nuts over IRS 1706 ---

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/opinion/21shulman.html

12
FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Health Insurance Dilemma
« on: May 03, 2017, 07:19:51 PM »
This is not a political post, just a heads-up based on information I get from years of working as an IT person in a large insurance company.

I assume that most of the folks on this board -- being consultants -- buy their own health insurance.

Health insurers in the ACA file their preliminary plans with the government for 2018 by May 23rd. They can adjust them somewhat before finalizing them by Oct 1.

Early scuttlebutt is that the number of insurers will be dropping significantly. Big premium increases are likely for those remaining.

(The reasons are technical and have to do with premium stabilization funding (risk corridors, risk adjustment, reinsurance), premium subsidies, mandated coverage, etc. You have to go way beyond the partisan political baloney you read/hear everywhere to understand how insurance companies are making decisions for 2018).

What will we do?

Overall, I think the strategy is to hunker down and keep your insurance however you can and wait till the politicians settle down their policies.

Meanwhile...

If you're one of those lucky people who buys an individual plan that is not tied to the marketplace, I'd suggest keeping it if you have the option. Be thankful if you only face a big rate increase.... at least you're insured.

Another option is employer-provided insurance. I know one contractor who is ditching her independent career specifically to seek shelter in company-provided health insurance.

The two dozen co-op insurers established by the ACA were a good option for several years. But no longer. Only 4 are left and these will die soon, as Congress has declined to pay the funds to them established in the ACA. IOW, they are being killed on purpose.

Since all health insurance markets are local, we'll all face different landscapes.  What's your plan for a safe transition through the next couple years?

13
Many WIn 10 users don't realize the system seizes control of updates from you and gives it exclusively to the vendor. So you have problems like this occur ....

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2017/03/12/microsoft-windows-10-upgrade-problems/?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=yahootix&partner=yahootix&yptr=yahoo#fc70d4820fd7

Or you can play games like this to try to retain control of the updates forced upon your computer ....

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3085136/windows/two-ways-to-control-or-stop-windows-10-updates.html

I think control of updates is a bigger deal than many people realize, even IT pros. If the vendor can force any "updates" upon you, you've truly lost control of your computer.

For example, when the forced upgrade to Win 11 comes along, you'll be defenseless. Users wont have the option to stay on 10 (the way they did with 7).

Nor can they avoid any spyware or adware the vendor sends their way.

I'm very sad to see Windows -- an OS that has contributed a lot to the world -- decline in this way. You'll never catch me using it again unless I'm forced to by client.

14
I read this article in which the author seems surprised that some companies abuse H1B's in the IT sector --
www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/02/the-dark-side-of-the-h-1b-program/516813/

That surprises me. Every single shop where I've worked with H1Bs, I've seen them abused in some manner. Either they make less money or they are treated worse than US employees in terms of work situation (eg, hours, being on-call, etc.)

In my experience, that's why companies hire them. To push them around in ways that are harder to do with American employees.

I'm curious about your experiences. Have you ever seen a site where H1B's have not been abused?


15
FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Temp work in Europe
« on: February 09, 2017, 09:50:09 PM »
I guess I have always assumed we have greater employee instability (more temp work, gig economy, contractors) than in Europe.

Apparently, that's not the case, according to this article from the NYTimes -- www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/business/europe-jobs-economy-youth-unemployment-millenials.html?_r=0

Supposedly they have a large contingent workforce just like we do. And people are unhappy with the instability of it.

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