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1:55 AM
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Q: What is the best job title for a generalist developer?

timgwsI recently was asked what the best job title would be for a generalist who works over a wide range of disciplines. The job would be a mixture of development (say 70%) and working directly with account managers/clients to help them resolve any issues with websites. I don't really want to say a j...

And here
Q: Leaving teaching - options for career change

ultravioletI hope all are well. I have been a high school teacher for 14 years, teaching Science, Maths and Physics. Even though it is still a good job, I am looking for a change. I am also completing my PhD in physics this year. My question is, asides from university lecturing and laboratory research, ...

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Q: Noisy workplace and don't want to use headphones: is a white-noise generator my best option, and if so what features are most important?

Monica CellioI work in a noisy cube farm that is often distracting. I've been unable to correct the noise problems at their sources and I don't want to wear headphones or earplugs, so it appears that using a white-noise generator (under my desk, perhaps) is my other option (as recommended in this answer to a...

I also edited this question heavily, but couldn't find a good question focused on going over why employers discourage shorter employment terms, and how to deal with shorter-term employment on a resume. Perhaps someone could make one? (Looking at you @Chad)
Q: How do I bring up a change of job within the same company?

abc123After interviewing for a job in a new technology that has great long term prospects, I joined the company despite relatively low pay. After joining the company, I was assigned to different technology doing tasks very different from the job I accepted and interviewed for. Because of the large gap...

@jmac why? (Read the comments.)
2:54 AM
@MonicaCellio Sorry for the delay -- the question is less a Workplace question than it is a product-related question (how should I pick out a white noise generator?). I don't think the linked question is appropriate either (as it is a shopping question as well). Basically, the workplace-related issue (workplace noise) isn't the subject of the question, since you've already decided how to resolve that issue (white noise generator). Now you're just figuring out which one you should buy.
3:36 AM
@jmac The related question has been open since September. Neither seems different from the ergonomics questions that have been deemed on-topic. I did ask if there was a better approach -- just because the other question & I didn't come up with one doesn't mean there isn't one, after all. But hey, if this site is really not The Workplace but Employment, just update the scope so people like me aren't misled. (BTW, I'm not new to the site, so I've seen a lot of questions go by...) ...
So if you guys want to close, go for it. Or I'll delete it -- whatever. I now know to go elsewhere for answers in the future.
3:58 AM
@MonicaCellio Sorry for the poor word choice in chat. My reason for posting them is not for a knee-jerk closing, but rather to bring attention to a question I thought should be closed and could be reviewed by other members. If I had known you'd read it (and really, I should have been a bit more tactful about this), I would have said something along the lines of, "I think this is a shopping question more than a workplace question since the solution to the workplace problem has already been decided"
@MonicaCellio I think there is a difference with the ergonomics questions, because the ergonomic questions are related to the entire office, or how to go about dealing with a workplace issue (ergonomics) rather than a personal one (product choice). That said, I don't really agree with ergonomics questions being on topic, but I don't feel I have a good enough reason to fight to have them deemed off-topic.
@MonicaCellio At any rate, my intention wasn't to be rude or dismissive of your question, and I apologize for coming across that way. I am usually here on a very different time than the bulk of users, so I post those in chat so that folks can take care of them when the UK/US wakes up.
@jmac Other sites use chat the same way; there's no problem with calling attention to posts here. (You should always assume that anything you write on the internet is public and could be seen by anybody.) From my perspective your opinions on these types of questions are out of sync with actual practice on the site, but you did get a couple other people to DV with you, so who knows? People aren't necessarily consistent. We'll see what happens. ...
I've been concerned about site definition for a while; I know TW has the numbers to possibly graduate soon, but I'm not sure it's a viable site. So I hope graduation is still some time away, so people can figure out what it's really supposed to be. My comment about workplace versus employment was serious.
I don't know about the site definition, I don't really know much about SE, I just do my own thing in my own corner in my own time zone, and tackle overlap/friction/problems when they come up (like this one)
I do assume that everything I write on the internet is public, and that's why I'm not being mean-spirited in my comments, I just wasn't tactful (and I apologize for that part)
@jmac with respect, I see you've been here for two months (and amassed quite a bit of rep in that time), so I recommend spending some time reviewing meta and older questions to see where this site has been.
@jmac thanks, appreciated.
Yeah, if I wanted to be Joe Pro StackExchanger, I would definitely get involved in the whole history and whatnot.
But to be honest, I just like answering questions, and trying to keep the site my vision of useful.
I've got to drop off -- that time-zone thing you were mentioning cuts both ways. :-) Good appropriate-time-of-day to you!
4:08 AM
1pm here -- sleep well.
Thanks for the chat.
4:36 AM
@enderland Call me crazy but I'd like to see questions like this be on-topic. In an analogy to Stack Overflow, this would be perfectly on topic. I need help with my problem (and somebody else might someday have a similar problem too). Of course, the most general questions get the most upvotes and attention, but would SO have ever taken off if users couldn't get answers to very-specific, very-localized questions?
In SO I struggle to even think of too-localized examples. At Area 51, too few questions is our only poor statistic; I personally don't object to questions like this as bad for the site.
4 hours later…
8:33 AM
@jmac Nice edits on this btw jmac!
A: After a job interview, is it inappropriate if I want to talk to an employee in private?

Michael GrubeyIt is not considered to be inappropriate at all and in some interviews this has been part of the interview process. Here are some helpful hints during your interview staying both positive and on track. If you could describe your corporate culture in three words, what would you say? This questi...

This answer basically hijacks the question and answers questions that aren't being asked
3 hours later…
11:16 AM
Joe - I just cancelled out the downvote with an upvote. And I'm going to ask @NickC to purge the comment spam. — Jim G. 7 mins ago
^^^ @NickC - Just an FYI.
Also great edits on this - workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/11908/… - this is a wonderful question
@NickC Questions like that can be answered in comments though
2 hours later…
1:00 PM
@MonicaCellio for fear of this becoming a discussion i wont continue past this point (but i will be on The Workplace Chat) but honestly the 'is the WNG the best bet' is covered pretty well in the listed duplicate for what your other options are — RhysW 2 mins ago
@RhysW -- the answers to the other question are (1) a general reference to WNGs and (2) several answers about headphones. As you can see from my question, I don't consider headphones an option. (Explaining why didn't really seem relevant.) See my discussion with gmac here last night.
But I'm not going to argue with you guys; I got an answer with a lead so meh, and this site still needs to figure out what it wants to be.
@NickC These questions come down to a throw a dart at the board and hope the OP likes where it lands. Those questions also tend to draw me too answers. I do not think it is so much that they are off topic but they are not constructive (just a bunch of guesses) or to localized as this one where the answer really only applies to the OP and no one else in the future. Having a bunch of crap questions is far worse for the site than our current question rate. Which is steadily rizing it seems
@MonicaCellio what are you wanting a list of options for WNG's to get?
@Chad (1) is there something that's not headphones that would work better than a WNG, and if not (2) what characteristics are most important in this environment -- type of noise? Means of generating it (mechanical? digital?)? Steady or varying (like a water fountain)? I didn't know to think about range frequency until I got an answer, so that -- and there may be other things I don't know to ask about, like I didn't know to ask about that.
1:16 PM
@MonicaCellio I made an edit to your question that will make it on topic
I removed the is there an alternative part of the question. That is the duplicate portion that is causing the problems I think
I think that is one of the problems with the SE format if you do not like the answer to a question you cannot re ask the question. You could offer a bounty on that other question asking for other alternatives though.
@Chad thanks! That makes sense.
I have voted to reopen
You might get it reopened faster if you flag it for the mods.
Q: How do I bring up being misled about my job role during the interview period?

abc123After interviewing for a job in a new technology that has great long term prospects, I joined the company despite relatively low pay. After joining the company, I was assigned to different technology doing tasks very different from the job I accepted and interviewed for. Because of the large gap...

@Chad thanks for the help. (Back later.)
@MonicaCellio Any time
I think that is a good question... but I am afraid the answer is probably going to be that you are going to need to find a new job or deal with the existing issue... I hate to post that as an answer though.
@Chad nice edit, got my vote too
1:46 PM
@Chad I also think that is a great questino. @jmac salvaged the rant itno a good question
Anyone know what "DOE" means when looking at a job posting? "Salary Range: 60k-80k DOE"
depending on experience is what google suggests :)
@enderland haha thanks :)
I should have checked google first
it's all good, now this way I know too
2:21 PM
I took a contract a few years ago to do .net development, they wanted me for my SQL And cold fusion skills. My company understood, found me a new contract and pulled me out, then put some other hapless individual in under the same circumstance.
@Chad I like SQL, and all the applications I have worked on have been data applications, so it seems normal that I would be expected to write both .NET and SQL.
2:54 PM
@DaveJohnson I mean you were hired as a .net developer and they have you writing SQL queries and stored procedures for a cold fusion web app. But never working on any .net
Not to mention there were over 50k stored procedures that called each other, had no naming standard to speak of, and many of them were written for a one time need and should have been deleted but were saved in case the needed to do the same thing again in the future...
Through some greping I found 3 procedures that literally were identical except for the comments. and the fact that they were created about 4 months apart
3:10 PM
@Chad third time's the charm?
3:22 PM
@Chad That sounds terrible. And if I never worked on .NET I would be concerned, and would say something, but would not likely "walk away" from the job, although I might start looking for a new one.
is it bad that i find refactoring, unit testing and general code maintenance more fun than actual coding? :P
3:39 PM
@DaveJohnson any particular reason :P
@RhysW lol no, just sayin
@DaveJohnson I think that is the situation of the OP...
@MonicaCellio Great edit by the way. That was the question my brain was trying to form around but couldnt :p
I don't like sympathy upvotes, but have to admit when DV is not explained, these sometimes feel fair...
I upvoted this back to 0 because I think, while it's not the best answer in all cases, it may be a good answer in some cases (as in your company's case) — Pheonixblade9 17 hours ago
I wonder how many upvotes are a result of downvotes...
4:09 PM
@gnat I sympathy downvoted it back. The answer sucks and is wrong... there is nothing constructive about commenting that though. I see no way to fix the answer to make it good
it doesn't add anything not previously covered in workplace.stackexchange.com/a/9666/2322
I just flagged teh answer for deletion
@enderland some people symphathy upvote... drives me crazy. But then again i will upvote things I would not normally if I think the downvotes are unwarrented on a new user.
@Chad I try to up/downvote all questions (I've gotten bad at thsi when a Q has potential and yet not in its current state..)
4:30 PM
@JimG. Oh don't you worry, I've been clearing out comment spam :)
@Chad I agree that we don't want a higher rate of crap questions; I guess it was implied that I didn't think it was a crap question :)
With that said, I definitely don't want to support NC questions either.
I wonder if we will see a spike in questions now that it's summer
@enderland per my observations, in popular questions with heavy views flow, most if not all downvoted meh answers tend to get back to 0. Sympathy ticks when casual visitor notices negative score, but when there's zero they skip...
@gnat right. oh well...
@enderland ...it was at programmers a month or 2 ago when I observed 3 (pretty crappy) answers at -1, -2, -3 respectively. An hour or two later, all of them get to 0... and stayed that way forever
@gnat that's terrible
i think similar things happene here, thoguh
4:43 PM
@enderland yup. can't tell how to handle that. you see, even at -3 which is pretty solid score, lemmings win (I call them lemmings not because they upvote but because they stop at 0 without thinking). One thing that comes to mind is to delay casting DVs to the moment when views flow weakens. Comments that explain problems in answer might be of help, too
although, I've seen cases when even comments didn't help
Q: We need to downvote answers more (even mediocre ones)

enderlandI propose that: This site's core users MUST much more frequently downvote answers even if they are "only" mediocre or we are going to face a consistent decrease in quality because (each of these is expanded on at length below): All (or at least most) our questions are subjective Anyone can ...

comments and DVs stop working when there are lemmings. i found that example...
This zero effort, purely opinionated answer lacks explanation and context. Statements made are not explained nor backed up with anything. Overly generalized wording like "There is only one reason. Linus Torvalds" does not even attempts to relate to the actual, specific question asked. As far as I can tell this blatantly violates requirements in the question notice: "provide some explanation and context.... explain why you're recommending it as a solution."gnat Dec 1 '12 at 8:17
answer is at +6 / -5
in less popular questions DVs and comments do the trick, in "hot" ones things seem to work differently
5:42 PM
@enderland heck rachels answer that says no lets sympathy upvote instead has 6 votes
6:01 PM
6:55 PM
Q: Is it okay to ask for feedback after an interview

user9205I recently went through the process of a phone interview, a personality test, and then a skills assessment test. All of these are common, I know and understand. My question is, is it reasonable, when a company lets you know that they are moving on without you, to ask for feedback on the last stag...

not sure if this is at all different than
Q: How can I ask my interviewers for feedback following an interview?

TarikRecently, I had an interview with Amazon. At first, things went smoothly and well. After two interviews, they decided not to move forward with the process. I'm the type of person who wants to consistently improve, so I wanted to get some feedback regarding why they decided not to continue the pro...

finding dups is easy when you just copy/paste the suspect dup question into the "ask a question" form and look at the duplicates...
That question just keeps coming back... I think i have seen more dups of that question than any other
@enderland: I read that question and the suggested answer, but it's not really an answer to my question. In the one you linked, he asked but never heard back. I'm asking is it considered okay to ask to begin with. — user9205 5 mins ago
meh. those answers all address that, in my opinoion (in fact most are founded on that question rather than the "how to ask" part)
7:19 PM
Q: Should unreadability or sloppiness of students' work be reflected in their evaluation?

Petr PudlákWhen evaluating and grading students' work in technical fields (like computer science or mathematics), I often face ones that are really messy, sometimes even unreadable (I mean structure, not - handwriting). It's not clear at all what part belongs to what or what is the final result. Instead of ...

I badly want to share my opinion as an answer there :p
But they already have 8 of those...
@enderland Yeah I suppose that my answer could have been reduced to your comment :p
The other option is post an absurd answer about how "Its not fair that you fail the kiddies just because they suck"
4 hours later…
11:42 PM
@enderland Thanks enderland. The question really took off after the rant was removed. And the author was incredibly nice about it which made me very happy (it always feels nice when the asker is on board with the aggressive edits!)

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