Software Developer Needed

intertwingled intertwingled at
Fri Oct 31 11:21:46 CST 2003

Gosh, I hope to meet billn at a future Perlmonger's meeting. =)


Scott Walters wrote:

>Good advice.
>My case was somewhat exceptional - I had released cart code under
>the GPL that included code to bang several bank credit card gateways,
>including some almost entirely undocumented ones, and it was this
>experience (reverse engineering credit card gateways) that they
>were interested in (if it is possible to glean anything from an
>interview). So, before the job was offered, I was already in competition
>with them. The job was offered because because of the experience
>I would bring. I job was out of the question because it was decided
>by their on staff legal personal that my side work might benefit from
>things I learned on the job, and they might some day find themselves
>in competition with my work. 
>My focus was complete solutions - not turn key ones, but class libraries
>and object frameworks flexible enough to be reused between diverse client
>needs where clients had complex, specific requirements and graphic
>design is done by a seperate party or a team. It is unlikely that
>the project would ever meet. 
>I don't mean to give ccbill grief - and from what I hear, these contracts
>are pretty standard - but I think this serves as a good parable. Let me
>draw an analogy to my parable =) If you're a hit man, you'll have lots
>of customers, even though you'll garter much fear and respect from your
>clients as they seek square cut deals and clear boundaries. If you kill
>people ramdonly as some sort of amature serial killer, then you will have
>no clients, no business, and no deals. Because free software programmers
>are so universally threatening to established development (as free
>software is universally threatening to commercial software), no clear
>bounds can be drawn, no employer can feel safe. 
>I was told that ccbill does employ a number of programmers who have released
>things GPL or otherwise, so this parable only serves to illustrate the
>problem - not to paint the scope of it or attitude towards it.
>For nervous clients in the past, I've tried other analogies - free software
>programming is like doing a research grant at school - you do the work, it is
>good experience, but the university owns it, and the university is accountable
>to the state and other philanthropic interests, so the code is made generally
>available. No one ever seems to buy these. On the other hand, most employers
>are suspicious of people who are still in school. 
>I hope you all reach your own conclusions, but I suspect that what is needed is
>for the balance between free and commercial software to stabilize. When it is
>established that free software development can be done while playing by the 
>same rules that industry plays by (higher standards, actually, I'd hope),
>and that these rules can only be enforced as well or as poorly as the
>commercial case, things should settle down. Dispite some radicial free software
>developers, most of them have no desire to be a threat to any reasonably
>honest business (and if they are threat to dishonest business, only because
>dishonesty doesn't pay).
>On  0, Bill Nash <billn at> wrote:
>>On Thu, 30 Oct 2003 extramail at wrote:
>>><my 2 cents>
>>>Funny, I interviewed with them 2 years ago. Sounds like they have
>>>changed a little because one of the things they did for me is sit me
>>>down and bring up a pretty narly porno pic. They wanted to know if that
>>>really offended me because I would probably be running into it.
>>>In general, while they had some cool artwork, I didn't get a good feeling from the place.
>>></my 2 cents>
>>Considering the customer base, that's really a decent litmus test, all
>>things considered. Programmers, engineers, even marketing, they deal with
>>porn. If that's something you can't handle on a daily basis, then don't.
>>I've been through their interview process as well (although I didn't get
>>to see any porn, wtf?) I've seen the IP docs of which you speak, and I
>>asked a lot of the same questions, and the answers you got seem to be
>>different than the ones I got, likely because the document has been
>>revised since then. Your concerns are well founded, and it's good to see
>>people looking out for themselves, especially developers who don't want
>>their work sucked under a corporate umbrella.
>>The long and short of the IP documents they presented, and how to keep
>>your work out of an employer's IP space (Note, I am not a lawyer, please
>>consult yours.):
>>1. Declare your side projects, in writing. So long as none of them are in
>>competition with your prospective employer's primary (or even secondary)
>>mission, then you're likely in the clear. Get their legal folks to sign
>>off on a written statement of work for each project, as non-conflicting /
>>non-infringing, and you're good to go. Bring them up during the interview
>>2. Work is work, personal is personal, and never the twain shall meet.
>>Establish *clear* and *hard* boundaries on work you are paid to do, and
>>work you're doing outside of the company context. This means no coding for
>>the company on your home box, and no logging into your home box from the
>>office to tinker with something because you had an idea. The term 'work
>>for hire' applies to *everything* you do while you're on the clock.
>>3. If you want to contribute something you are working on to the open
>>source community, simply ask before you pour a lot of time into it, unless
>>you have to do it anyway. An example: In a previous position developing
>>Network Management tools for a major ISP, the work I was doing dealt
>>directly with our primary product, and a community release of my toolset
>>would have been potentially damaging to our company's profitability, by
>>giving tools to the competition. So long as what you want to release would
>>not offer a competitor an advantage in your particular space, then it's
>>entirely possible it could be kosher.
>>Yes, you should absolutely be taking steps to protect yourself.
>>Conversely, don't be too quick to assume a company is evil and out to
>>get your work. Everything is open to negotiation. Pre-declared conditions
>>to employment will often save you.
>>- billn
>>>>I interviewed with them. I think a few people - Doug and Kurt -
>>>>heard the story. Perhaps they have mellowed out a bit, but they wanted
>>>>me to sign a document that stated that I had no intellectual property,
>>>>and I assigned all of my IP to them. I got the interview partially because
>>>>of free software programming I had done, and when I asked about this,
>>>>they got their lawyers over to "help clarify", and surely enough, I
>>>>couldn't sign the contract because I would be making a false statement,
>>>>as I couldn't retract the code I've released.
>>>>Anyone going down there should be aware of this and read the contracts
>>>>carefully and evaluate your priorities. If you keep your mouth shut,
>>>>there probably would be no problems, but a lot of people don't like
>>>>being "owned".
>>>>It seemed like a really nice outfit with nice people. Techies are well
>>>>reguarded and respected in the company, and you'd have to see the
>>>>building - very artistic - and the other programmers and people on
>>>>tech support seemed very cool. This could be a great job for someone
>>>>more interested in the business side of software than the hobby side.
>>>>If you're thinking about it, pay a visit to their website. The industry
>>>>is interesting. Final note - if you set up a website that accepts
>>>>payments through ccbill, one of their tech guys (seperate bay
>>>>than the programmers, though I don't know which this post is for)
>>>>ssh's in and sets up the perl scripting for the webmaster, including
>>>>setting up the redirect, forms, and such. You may find yourself
>>>>working on websites you normally wouldn't be looking at.
>>>>2 cents and that.
>>>>On  0, Jacob Powers <jpowers at> wrote:
>>>>>This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
>>>>>Content-Type: text/plain;
>>>>>	charset="us-ascii"
>>>>>Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
>>>>>Software Developer
>>>>>CCBill, a leader in online e-commerce transactions, is currently looking
>>>>>for a Software Developer.
>>>>>Job Description: Writes and tests code written from specification
>>>>>provided by engineers and prototyping. Works under the guidance of team
>>>>>leads to deliver fully functional and tested software for both internal
>>>>>and external clients.
>>>>>*	Strong understanding of programming concepts and best practices.
>>>>>*	Excellent PERL and SQL programming skills.
>>>>>*	Object oriented PERL knowledge.
>>>>>*	Experience using Linux/Unix OS and the VI editor.
>>>>>*	Ability to thoroughly test and troubleshoot code.
>>>>>*	Experience using HTML and JavaScript to build web applications.
>>>>>Following Skills a Plus:
>>>>>*	Java, PHP, and C/C++ knowledge.
>>>>>*	Apache experience.
>>>>>*	MySQL experience.
>>>>>*	Database design.
>>>>>*	Shell scripting.
>>>>>CCBill offers a wide range of benefits, competitive pay and a casual
>>>>>work environment. All interested applicants should send your resume,
>>>>>cover letter and references to jpowers at
>>>>>For more information please see our website or email us
>>>>>at the above address.
>>>>>Jacob Powers
>>>>>Project Manager

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