Programmist's Profile User Rating: *****

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02-January 06
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User is offline Jun 21 2015 06:02 AM

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  1. In Topic: Direct Hire vs Contract: Is there really a difference?

    Posted 2 Jun 2015

    Job security is an illusion. I've been doing this for more years that I care to count and I've worked as salaried, w-2 contract, and corp-to-corp consultant. It is true that a company in financial trouble will typically shed its contractors first, but make no mistake, your status as a "full-timer" doesn't make you any less expendable. When the dot-com bubble burst (2001) my full-time status didn't stop them from laying me and several others off with zero notice.

    That said, contract work is usually shorter-term. Contractors are often brought on for a limited term engagement like a project and then expected to leave when the need is over. I've also seen long-term (2 years) and open-ended contracts. Personally, I prefer contract work to full time. I've been an independent consultant (corp-to-corp) since 2009 and I wouldn't go back. Sure, I end up looking for work more often than a full-timer, but I like that. I get to leave when the interesting work is over and the support work begins. Companies hire me for projects and when that project is complete and the full-timers are comfortable taking over the support role I leave.

    So what about benefits? As a full-timer you get benefits, but you pay dearly for them with your salary. In my experience "benefits" at many companies rarely make up for the reduction in monetary compensation you get moving from contract to full-time. Some companies offer stock options which can sometimes bridge the gap a bit more, but insurance, 401K matching, and a paid vacation is not going to cut it. I'm not going to name the company, but in 2010 consultants were making 100%-130% more than the salaried folks. Do the math on that. Yes that meant that consultants were grossing the equivalent of a full year's salary in 3-6 months.

    There are down-sides to contracting/consulting though. Your taxes can become more complex. You do end up looking for work more frequently, which can be a negative if that's not your thing. Some companies treat contractors differently. I've seen companies cram contractors into a conference room even through there were open cubicles because "cubicles are for employees." So you have to be selective what contracts you accept. However, if you perform well you'll likely be approached by companies who want to convert you from consultant to full-time which puts you in a really nice bargaining position if you like the company. So far only one company has tempted me to convert and it was Google. Unfortunately it came with the requirement that I move to Mountain View, which was impossible for me, so I remained a consultant.
  2. In Topic: Material Design For Webpages?

    Posted 30 May 2015

    I voted "yes" because MD was meant to describe applications across platforms and screen sizes, which includes web apps. The first implementation of MD that I'm aware of was Polymer Elements. Google's Angular Material is another recent one. One of the big goals of that project is to ensure that the components and layouts look and behave great on laptops, phones, tablets, etc with little to no effort on the part of of the developer. Essentially you get a lot of MD for free. If you're into Angular they're a great set of components (Full disclosure, I'm on the team).

    That said, the MD L&F may not be for everyone. I think it works really well, but YMMV.
  3. In Topic: Switched to Windows; it's a wasteland.

    Posted 26 May 2015

    I'm familiar with how character encodings work. And I've felt that pain in other scenarios when dealing with user input copy/pasted from MS Word. It's just never been a problem for me in a text editor or IDE. I'm not contesting your assertion of Sublime 3 missing this feature, but my Google searches aren't returning any results with people reporting the issue.
  4. In Topic: Switched to Windows; it's a wasteland.

    Posted 26 May 2015

    View Postge∅, on 26 May 2015 - 04:04 AM, said:

    I don't like Sublime text. I've tried the 2nd edition and not being able to know or change the charset is really a deal breaker for me...

    You can easily change your character encoding with Sublime.
  5. In Topic: Switched to Windows; it's a wasteland.

    Posted 25 May 2015

    I don't do PHP development, so no advice on *AMP variants, but as far as editors I'd recommend Sublime 3. It's fast, really customizable, and has tons of good plugins. I hear good things about Brackets, but also hear that it's slower. Last time I tried Atom it was nowhere near ready and also slow compared to Sublime. You might also check out WebStorm. I used its big brother, IntelliJ Idea, for years to do Java, web, and mobile development and it was a solid IDE. Webstorm is obviously a lot smaller and web-focused than Idea.

    I'm curious why you're moving to Windows. No judgement here. I've done plenty of development on Windows machine in the past. It just wouldn't be my first choice. Windows 10 game changer for development?

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Refactorer in Chief
Age Unknown
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Dallas, TX
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JavaScript, Java, C, Python

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