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Archive for December, 2015

TurboTax Bug

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It was quite annoying to find that TurboTax couldn’t send me a text message to confirm my order of a second state. However, I made the mistake of clicking the “Confirm my account a different way (takes longer)” radio button to get to their web page.

After I got two-step verification enabled on their web site, now it’s impossible to order the second state software. It appears that once you click that button, the software writes it to a file and never prompts you for text, email, or other verification. That seems like a bug to me, what do you think?


Hope this helps others …

Written by maclochlainn

December 23rd, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

IT Salary Thought

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During the holidays, I check salaries for my students and the IT industry overall. I’m never surprised by the reality, after all salaries pay for return on skills and effort. Here’s my annual look, which some may find unkind but reality is seldom kind.

Before looking at IT salaries, it seems like a good opportunity to first look at the overall job market for Millennials in the United States. AOL provides a great graphic of the median income for Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1997), which is $18,000 to $43,000 a year:


That’s a stark contrast to Forbes’ statistics on the top college baccalaureate degrees. In fact, the top five with the highest salary are between $58 to $67 thousand a year. They are:

  1. Computer Science ………… $66,800
  2. Engineering ………………… $65,000
  3. Mathematics & Statistics … $60,300
  4. Economics ………………….. $58,600
  5. Finance ……………………… $58,000

Computer science, applied computer science, and information technology are probably lumped into the first category. Information systems, exposure without real skills, is a management degree and probably opens positions equivalent to the business degree at $50 thousand a year. More or less, that’s a nine thousand dollar difference between having real skills and being able to talk the game and supervise technical resources. (The 10 hottest IT skills for 2015 are listed in Computerworld.)

There’s no surprise that Ruby, Objective C (iPhone, iPad, Mac OS X), Python, Java, C++ are at the top of the pyramid. Starting salaries in the Salt Lake area are higher for programmers college than they are for other computer science skill sets. In fact, my informal contacts peg them as starting at $70+ thousand. That’s higher than Forbes average for computer science. Here’s a visual on experienced programmers by language:


It seems fair to say that a computer science, applied computer science, and information technology degree with an emphasis in real programming skills is the best bet to pay off student loans. However, some will wait for politicians to do that for them, but really that’s quite unlikely, isn’t it?

Reality is always blunt. Reality also seems to frequently differs from what politicians say. After all, politicians pander to audiences, which generally means they say a great deal of nonsense. Nonsense like economics doesn’t matter, everyone should earn the same regardless of their education, skills, or work ethic. Aldous Huxley said it more elegantly when he said, “That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent.”

Written by maclochlainn

December 21st, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Fedora LAMP Steps

without comments

I posted earlier in the year how to configure a Fedora instance to test PHP code on a local VM. However, I’ve got a few questions on how to find those posts. Here’s a consolidation with links on those steps:

  1. Go to this blog post and install the httpd and php libraries with the yum installer.
  2. In the same blog post as step 1 (you can put the sample PHP code into the /var/www/html directory for testing), connect to the yum shell and remove the php-mysql library and then install the mysqlnd library.
  3. Go to this blog post and install the php-gd libraries, which enable you to render PNG images stored as binary streams in MySQL.

As always, I hope that helps.

Written by maclochlainn

December 9th, 2015 at 9:44 am