Open Thread: Old Fogeys v. Young Whippersnappers, Ageism in Tech

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Tags:#Open Thread#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… jolie odellcenter_img In the past, we’ve talked a bit about issues of gender and technology, but today, this blog post brought another important aspect of tech and discrimination to our attention.We polled some of our friends on Google Buzz and asked whether ageism is something they’ve seen at work or that has effected their lives. And the responses were interesting – although some say they try to be as even-handed as possible, others said that age discrimination exists at both ends of the spectrum, especially when it comes to landing a job.Let us know your experiences and opinions in the comments.What Experts SayA 2001 article from CIO started a conversation about ageism in IT. The response was dramatic. “Within days of being asked ‘Do CIOs Discriminate Against Older Workers?’ about 200 readers had posted answers; a majority of them gave a resounding yes… workers age 55 and older make up only 6.8 percent of the IT workforce.”A couple years later, a 2003 study from the International Journal of Selection and Assessment explored how older and middle-aged programmers fared in the tech workforce. Results showed “that age was negatively associated with both annual salary and job benefits levels.”But in 2009, another study showed what could have been seen as a turning tide. “The study, ‘The Coming Entrepreneurship Boom,’ found that… the United States might be on the cusp of an entrepreneurship boom – not in spite of an aging population but because of it… The average age of U.S.-born technology founders when they started their companies was 39.”What People on the Ground SayPerhaps the graying set are doing well as entrepreneurs, but what about when they apply to be programmers, information architects, web designers or other traditionally “young” jobs?In a lively conversation on our Buzz account, Aaron Hayes told us that ageism is alive and well, saying, “I turned 40 this year, and even though I can write Python circles around some… [and] have run several of my own small businesses – somehow, because the metabolic process of my cells has been occurring for several solar rotations beyond a subset of unspoken rules, I can be dismissed by some as a viable candidate for a startup.“And this apparently because people that have experience clearly can’t have youthful enthusiasm, or passion.”Even though, as Ruggero Domenichini said in the same thread, older employees might have “less ego, nothing to prove, been through failure [and] lived more.”And person after person said that they had either hired older programmers and been totally pleased with their fit and performance or – in one case – not hired someone because of age and regretted it ever since.What Do You Say?We’re interested to know what your experience has been, either as a younger startup exec faced with hiring decisions or as an older programmer working in IT.On a personal level, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the older techies in my life – especially as I begin to earn a few gray hairs of my own. My old-as-dirt dad is a fabulous network engineer, and a lot of the best developers and entrepreneurs I know have lived long enough to have a mature, realistic and stable view of their abilities, the ecosystem and their colleagues.And in an amendment of the famous “Never trust anyone over 30” quotation, I’d have to say I’d gladly take the word of a 50-year-old who knew his stuff over a 25-year-old entrepreneur starting his first company. And the hypothetical 25-year-old would do well to take his older colleague’s advice seriously, as well.As always, let us know what you think in the comments. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Hacker Chat: Max Ogden Talks About CouchDB, Open Data and Couchappsora (Part 1)

first_imgHow to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes klint finley Tags:#hack#Interviews Related Posts center_img Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Max Ogden is a developer living in San Francisco. He’s a Code for America fellow and one of the founding developers of Couchappspora, an open source social network built with Apache CouchDB.I recently talked to him about his Code for America fellowship, how he got started programming, CouchDB and much more. Tune in next week for part two of the interview.Klint Finley: Can you start by telling us a little big about who you are and what you do?Max Ogden: Sure. I’m Max Ogden, originally from Oregon, most recently Portland. Now I’m talking to you over IRC from Harvard’s guest wi-fi and I technically live in San Francisco, although I’m in Boston for the month of February on assignment for Code for America where I’m a fellow this year.I’m working out of Boston City Hall on a software project intended to give more educational resources to low income populations in the city of Boston. But outside of Code for America I’ve previously worked at some startups in Portland. But my real passion lies in the communication and networking space. More recently I’ve been getting involved in different privacy-centric open source projects.How did you become a Code for America fellow?I was recruited by Tim O’Reilly. He worked his charismatic magic on me. The mayor of Portland, Sam Adams, was presenting me with an award for doing open source and open data work in Portland and Tim was at the awards ceremony. He said “We’d like to see this happen in more cities than just Portland.” That was a pretty exciting proposition.How did you get started with Web development, and programming in general?In high school I started taking classes, I actually got hooked by playing Starcraft back in 1999. The custom level editor has elements of event-driven asynchronous programming and I started geeking out on custom Starcraft maps. And then realized that programming is just Starcraft without the space aliens. My programming career was largely self-directed, but then I got a great job at a marketing research company under some really talented engineers. It was a really good mentoring environment. Agile processes, pair programming, test driven development. A lot of experimentation with newer technologies and a lot of freedom to innovate. But the nature of the work was building human interfaces to technology.The company’s purpose was to create ways for consumers to express qualitative information about consumer goods, a la focus groups, but using consumer technology as the capture mechanism. So I have a background in helping people be more human using technology. Which is an interesting field/challenge.Did you go to college for computer science or did you go straight into the job market after high school?I skipped college altogether actually and went straight into startup land.You do a lot of work with CouchDB, notably GeoCouch and Couchappsora. What attracted you to Couch?I got interested in CouchDB when Portland started releasing a lot of government generated data sets. Because Portland is so laid back, I would get off of work at 5pm and then have the rest of the evening to hop around town and code at cafes and bars with peers. Cost of rent is low so you can afford to not take your work home with you.So the Mayor’s office started releasing raw data and it was in the native GIS format that the government created it in, which requires certain proprietary software in order to work with. A lot of major cities have $50,000 + annual licenses for these software suites. The barrier of entry there is high. So I tried decoding a single data set to see what the workflow was like and nine hours later I had a list of 2,900 bicycle parking racks in JSON formatSo the problem arose as: how do I host the other approximately 100 geographic datasets in the same nice JSON format for other developers to work with, so that they don’t have to go through all of the trouble that I originally had to go through to work with the data. So I was shopping around for databases and GeoCouch was brand new at the time and was the most elegant and simple solution that I’ve found since.Basically I can dump a bunch government data into it and with little to no special configuration it automatically becomes a publicly accessible API. I guess the biggest “feature” of Couch.The relevance to my software philosophy is the idea that Couch is by default open and replicable. So any data that is in Couch becomes fully replicable by anyone.Right now we have the notion of a blog presented via HTML and then a separate syndicatable feed, usually via RSS. Couch is basically a more robust pub/sub mechanism that would replace RSS in that model. So for open government data it is really enticing because anyone can replicate the actual API itself, not just consume the API via one-off queries.Can you talk a little more about GeoCouch and what it is?GeoCouch is just a light layer on top of Couch. There are a couple notable CouchDB “plugins.” One is GeoCouch, the other is CouchDB-Lucene. GeoCouch lets you quickly look up spatial objects. So if you have, for instance, a list of all of the fire hydrants in Boston – there happens to be 13,000 – and you wanted to show a firefighter the three fire hydrants on the block that he is standing on you can filter those three out of the list of 13,000 in a very efficient manner. On the order of milliseconds.CouchDB-Lucene is similar in nature, except instead of spatial queries it lets you do full text indexing. The normal out of the box Couch has a more familiar B-Tree index, which is a pretty general purpose indexing engine for lists of data. But spatial queries and full text indexes are more specialized around big lists of geolocated objects or large bodies of freeform text. The general workflow is: You put data into a database (“folder,” “bucket”) and then you hook up a Web application to pull that data out and display it. So I usually do a lot of the logic on the client side in JavaScript.The nice side effect of that strict separation between data and presentation is that every site built that way automatically has a replicable API. So you can use the Couch “protocol” to subscribe to anyone’s API.When Diaspora got released they tightly coupled the data layer and the presentation layer so it was a big Rails app that had a lot of complex dependencies and fancy front end-user interfaces and an opaque backend that didn’t adhere to any notable syndicatable protocols. The OStatus stack was missing, for instance. OStatus is a set of six or seven different formats like RSS for creating decentralized subscription based social networks. But OStatus is front-end agnostic. OStatus doesn’t advocate for any specific user interface, it expects to you built your front end in new and interesting ways.On some level I was bored with Facebook because every user is exposed to the same interface. It was too standardized. And on another level Facebook’s centralized data ownership was morally questionable. And then Diaspora came along and didn’t seem to promote any data standards but instead tried to make its front end the selling point. Which is great, but you need to pursue both the standards in the backend and the innovation in the user experience at least that’s the way I look at it.So I started hacking with RWW resident hacker Tyler Gillies on Couchappspora, which used the Couch protocol to replicate data but used Diaspora’s front end.Read part two of this interview. 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac…last_img read more

Haryana govt spends ₹22.93 cr a year on former MLAs’ pension

first_imgA businesswoman figuring on the Forbes list of top ten richest Indians and a former Chief Minister currently in jail after being convicted in Junior Basic Trained teachers’ recruitment scam and the son of a former Chief Minister are among the 262 beneficiaries of the Haryana government’s pension scheme for former MLAs with an annual expenditure of ₹22.93 crore, an RTI reply has revealed.Former Haryana Congress MLA Capt. Ajay Yadav draws the maximum pension of ₹2,38,050 per month, followed by Indian National Lok Dal supremo and former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala (₹2,22,525), Chandravati (₹2,22,525), Sampat Singh (₹2,14,763) and Balbir Pal Shah (₹2,07,000), stated the reply to an RTI application by P.P. Kapoor, a resident of Panipat.Mr. Chautala was charged with corruption in the recruitment of 3,206 Junior Basic Trained teachers in Haryana in 2000. A Delhi trial court in 2013 convicted him and the Supreme Court later upheld his conviction.Jindal Steel and Power Limited chairperson Savitri Jindal, the richest woman in India, also draws a monthly pension of ₹90,563 per month.Mr. Yadav told The Hindu that the pension to the ex-MLAs was in recognition of their round-the-clock service to the society and not all former legislators were well-off. He added that the government must review its decision to discontinue pension to its employees.Mr. Kapoor said the minimum monthly pension of the former MLAs had been increased from ₹20,250 to ₹51,750 over the past five years. He added that as per the RTI, as many as 161 former MLAs were drawing a monthly pension of ₹51,750 and 39 former MLAs were drawing ₹90,543. Mr. Chautala’s son Ajay Chautala, who is a convict in the JBT recruitment scam, gets ₹51,750 per month.Besides, the Haryana government also spends ₹3.15 crore annually on pension to the widows of 129 former MLAs. Former Chief Minister (Late) Bhajan Lal’s wife Jasma Devi draws a monthly pension of ₹99, 619 per month under the family pension scheme and another pension of ₹51,750 in her capacity as former MLA. ‘Burden on exchequer’Mr. Kapoor said that the pension for government employees was discontinued after 2006 and there was no such provision for the farmers and workers, but all former MLAs, despite being resourceful, were drawing huge pensions causing burden on the exchequer. He demanded that certain terms and conditions be fixed for the pension to the ex-MLAs as there were for all government schemes such as social security pension schemes.last_img read more

Mayweather drops another hint at MMA fight

first_imgPhoto taken from Floyd Mayweather’s Instagram accountMMA fighter Conor McGregor switched to the boxing ring to make one of the richest professional fights in history possible and now Floyd Mayweather hints he might return the favor.Mayweather, who hasn’t fought since knocking out McGregor in that boxing match last year, teased fans Friday night by posting a picture on his Twitter page of himself wearing mixed martial arts gloves and standing in a UFC cage.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. He said “Come at the king, you best not miss…”Mayweather’s August fight with the Irishman was supposed to be his last as it secured his perfect 50-0 record. But the American has retired several times only to negotiate “comeback” fights for bigger paydays.  Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Read Next View comments LATEST STORIEScenter_img Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement PLAY LIST 00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement01:49Pacquiao to Mayweather: Want fans to stop asking for rematch? Then fight me again00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers “Billion Dollar Man,” Mayweather said in the tweet.Mayweather and McGregor’s cross-combat fight in August failed to live up to the hype in the ring as veteran Mayweather easily outpunched the inexperienced McGregor, but it did well at the box office.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe contest generated 4.3 million pay-per-view buys in North America, trailing only Mayweather’s 2015 world title boxing match with Filipino Manny Pacquiao that generated 4.6 million buys and earned $600 million. It is the second time this week Mayweather has teased his fans with the idea. Earlier this week he posted video on Twitter and Instagram of himself shadow boxing in a cage. AFP official booed out of forum Davis’ 43 points lead Pelicans past Thunder Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoiseslast_img read more