Should you say thank you to a possible employer after an interview via email or handwritten letter via snailmail?

Does it have to be one or the other?  How about sending an email addressed to everyone you met with, followed by a handwritten note to the most senior person or decision maker, also mailed the same day? 

I'd also consider the type of organization it is, and the relative conservatism of the decision makers.  Old company, blue suits, formal company stationary? Handwritten notes are probably more common.  Younger company, jeans and video games environment?  An email thank you won't surprise them. 

You may get a higher percentage of answers here that say "email" and their opinions may very accurately represent the kinds of companies and hiring managers participating in this forum.  If these are the companies and people you're interviewing with, email probably is the better choice for you. But if you're interviewing with companies and people who aren't using electronic media regularly to connect with people, email may not be quite as prevalent as folks here may lead you to believe.

After a job interview, is it better to send a formal email thanking someone or a handwritten letter to your prospective employer?

The answer to your question is… Yes!

Agreeing with Jeff, an email within hours of the interview is important for the sake of making an impact while you are still fresh in their mind.  They may be interviewing other people the same day and you want to make an additional positive impression before they are "sold" on another candidate.

However, there is still something about a handwritten note that makes an exceptionally positive impression as well. So, IN ADDITION to an email the same day, a handwritten note in the mail a day or two later adds to the overall impact you make to them.  No one ever gets rejected for sending too many "Thank You's".  

For the email, and for the hand-written note though, brevity is a virtue. Short and sweet will get read, generally long letters will not.

I wrote more about effective Thank You notes on my site at: www.thewisejobsearch.com 

You can read the specific article at:
http://www.thewisejobsearch.com/…

Can I enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program, even if I have an approved K-1 visa in my passport?

Yes, technically, you can enter on Visa Waiver even though you have an approved K-1 in the passport.  However, the fact that you have already shown immigrant intent in pursuing the K-1 process may make it difficult.

You must make it CLEAR to the CBP officer that you are entering as a Visa Waiver Visitor for only a short business trip and that you will be returning to your home country and then coming back to enter as K-1 (remember, K-1 visa is only valid for 4 months and you must make the K-1 entry in that time. He or she may inquire as to why and my question you about the K-1.  But it is your job to make sure they the correct notation in the passport.  If and when CBP allows you to enter the country, check your passport to make sure they stamped your passport with the VWP and not K-1. Do this BEFORE you leave the customs area.

What is the best and comprehensive online resources to learn programming?

Here are two great options:

Khan Academy – Computer programming and CodeAcademy – Learn to code

They both cover a lot of topics and will give you a general introduction to programming, and are both oriented towards web programming.

The resources above will probably be sufficient to get you started on the path to coding generally, but if you expect to be more involved with application or system programming, check out http://www.learnjavaonline.org/ and Learn C++ (the latter is reading-intensive and will require practice, but is very thorough).

If you want to understand the ideas behind programming languages before diving into all this, read this article, and this one to get an introduction to programming generally.

What scenarios can tolerate an eventual consistency model?

(Almost) everything in real world is eventually consistent, even the bank transactions that are typically quoted as examples of requiring strong consistency. The key is to have a reliable mechanism to know when the system attained the consistency, so the users can take appropriate decisions. In Quora-like systems, for example, the notifications, votes, comments, etc. tolerate eventual consistency. Eventual consistency is often confused for loss of data. That is, when you say your system is eventually consistent, people tend to assume that there is possibility of data loss. This is incorrect.

Will the Sacramento Kings ever win an NBA championship?

I think the Sacramento Kings will have a tough go of winning a championship in the foreseeable future, which is the only length of time that's really relevant. Here's my reasoning:

  • If you're not on the list, there's probably a reason why: Over the last 30 years only 8 different teams have won an NBA championship. 13 of those 30 were won by the Lakers and Celtics. The other teams were the Pistons, Heat, Rockets, Spurs, Sixers, and Bulls. If you were going to pick 5 teams most likely to be in the finals this year, you'd probably start with the Lakers and Celtics and follow it up with the Heat, Bulls, and Spurs in some order. This is a roundabout way of saying that if you're not one of the teams on that list you might be playing for second place. Forever.
  • A small market team's odds of winning a championship are historically very poor: Of the 8 teams that have won, only two: San Antonio and Houston, come from cities that are considered expansion-era or small market franchises. That's no accident. As I covered here, Why are people so upset with the decision by LeBron James to sign with the Miami Heat?, small market teams find it more difficult to generate enough revenue to spend more than the NBA's soft salary cap will allow and find it more difficult to attract top talent, ensuring they overpay for players that are willing to join their team. San Antonio is an exception to that rule and should really be considered an anomaly. It's enjoyed a perfect storm of great draft picks, players who are willing to sacrifice salary for their teammates, and a front office where the former employees have had the most prolific presence in the front office of other teams for the last 10 years. Sacramento isn't the smallest market in the NBA, but its one of them.
  • The present is the best indication of the near future, and the present in Sacramento is ugly. 2 of the 3 elements that helped build Sacramento into a championship contender before (ownership and general manager) are still there. Unfortunately, here's what's not still there: the coach, the fans, the love affair between the team and their city, the playstyle that was so attractive to fans and free agents, the players who could make that kind of thing happen. Of those, the coach is the one that really matters, but if certain elements remain you can fake it for a while: see Suns, Phoenix. Unfortunately, none of that stuff is still there for Sacramento. And the replacement parts and style of play aren't nearly as compelling and it's not clear what the team's character is. Factor in the absolutely dire prospect of the team moving and it just seems like until it all gets resolved there isn't reason to hope for anything, much less a championship.

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