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Love Your Co-Workers? Silicon Valley Startup Offers to Hire Entire Teams

By Michael J. Coren // Quartz // April 27, 2016

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People work best in teams. Companies mostly hire individuals. That mismatch drove the payments startup Stripe, which is struggling to fill almost 100 open positions, to start hiring the same way it works: in teams.

The company announced its Bring Your Own Team initiative April 26. Candidates can apply with up to five of their favorite colleagues. Stripe will schedule group interviews, office visits, and professional challenges to solve together. The offer (or rejection) is made to the group as a whole. People can accept or decline individually.

Stripe said it does not intend to hire individuals if a team is rejected (but didn’t rule it out completely). The company expects groups to working together initially. It’s most keen to hire software developers, but is open to proven collaborations with designers, managers, or product managers.

Stripe’s idea grew out of frustration with conventional hiring, says Stripe’s CEO Patrick Collison.

“We’ve already had this idea that the standard Silicon Valley interview processes aren’t that good, especially in engineering. They over weight SATs and [grades], when even weighing them at all is a bad idea,” said Collison by phone. “What we under weight is the perspective...

Google Launches In-House ‘Startup Incubator’ to Stop Employees from Leaving Other Startups

By Ian Kar // Quartz // April 25, 2016

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Google wants to keep employees who want to start their own company, or join a high flying startup. So the company may develop an “in-house incubator” allowing Google employees to develop their startups within the company.

Codenamed “Area 120,” the effort will be led by Don Harrison, VP of corporate development, and Bradley Horowitz, who runs Photos and Streams, according to tech industry publication The Information.

Details are being worked out, but Googlers will likely pitch business plans to the incubator and, if approved, can work on their ideas for a few months. The teams can then invite Google to be an initial investor in the startup.

Silicon Valley is rift with folks chasing the next big thing—whether it’s virtual or augmented reality, drones, artificial intelligence, or something even more futuristic. Huge companies like Google risk missing out. Ex-Googlers have founded major companies such as Twitter and Instagram. Developing a program to get in on the ground floor may help the search engine giant retain those sorts of budding businesses.

Historically, incubators haven’t had a great track record. They are often difficult to implement inside big organizations with developed bureaucracies. The “Area 120” program will likely try...

Rubio: Politicians Don't Talk Enough About Tech Jobs

By Mohana Ravindranath // April 21, 2016

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. // Andrew Harnik/AP

Weeks after dropping out of the presidential race, Sen. Marco Rubio has a message for politicians: talk about the jobs that technology will obviate.

Longtime employees concerned about their jobs being replaced “look to their political leaders, and no one’s talking about it, no one’s explaining to them what’s happening,” Rubio, R-Fla., said after accepting a tech policy award in Washington on Wednesday. “The result is that people are incredibly anxious," he added.

Technology policy needs to keep pace with new products and ideas, Rubio said. “We can’t fight it, and we can’t fear it," he said.

Rubio predicted that within the next few years, fast food restaurant workers will largely be replaced by touch-screen ordering systems.

“But there’s these new jobs that are going to be created," he said. "The job of coming up with that machine, the job of designing the software that goes into that machine, the job of installing it, the job of maintaining it, the job of one day replacing it."

He added: “Here’s the difference: All the jobs I just described are going to pay a lot more than the jobs they’re replacing.”

Rubio said he...

What Makes a Good Coder?

By Quora // Quartz // April 6, 2016

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This question originally appeared on QuoraHow do I become a good coder and what should the ideal characteristics of a good coder? Answer by Guillermo Schwarz has spent over 20 years developing software.

Ah, the Holy grail of programming. You should learn, because learning is what makes the difference:

  1. Know the language you are working with. Read manuals. Read all the stuff you can about it. Learn the language inside and out. Doubt what you read, make experiments. This is important: To really learn, you need to test and experiment for yourself. Make up your own mind.
  2. Check parameters in every function. Learn defensive programming. Make sure your code is solid, in the sense that it is almost impossible to use incorrectly, it is impossible to break.
  3. Learn best practices. This is different than mere manuals, because manuals have all the important information, everything you can do with the language, but they don’t distinguish between: “this is a good practice” and “this is going to be bring you problems down the road.”
  4. Learn design patterns. The idea of design patterns is to make your code more dynamic, in the sense that changing requirements can be accepted. See GoF...

Most Americans Spend Two Full Workdays a Month on Facebook

By Michael J. Coren // Quartz // April 2, 2016

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Procrastinating on Facebook appeals equally to the young and old, but sending disappearing messages on SnapChat is truly for millennials.

The latest figures on digital traffic that the audience measurement company comScore released this week suggest that while the younger set are heavier users of social media overall, Americans of every age use social media networks in similar proportions—except when it comes to Snapchat (and, to a lesser degree, Instagram).

Facebook is by far the most popular for every age group. Americans are spending more time on Facebook than every other service combined, comScore reports. More than 90 percent of adult Americans devote 15 to 18 hours per month—two workdays!—to the social network. (The measurement company collects data from two million users in its monitoring program, as well as tracking software participating companies install on their web pages, apps and other digital content.)

Snapchat, which launched in 2011, reaches just 7 percent of people over 35 years old. Millennials, on the other hand, have taken to it: 38 percent of people between 18 to 34 years old use the service for 380 minutes on average per month (compared to 111 minutes among the few in the older...