hackNY Lessons: Week 5

We met with Chris Wiggins and Evan Korth and had some insights on what’s the way hackNY works and what do they want to accomplish with it. Also we met Chris Poole (m00t) founder of 4chan and probably one of the individuals in this city that has very opposite views to mine on almost every topic (lol).

I worked mostly fixing bugs and old broken code, got stuck at my project with Clojure, and I only managed to get to Project Euler 4.¬†Super pointless week overall (aside from the talks), although I managed to do some stuff on the weekend and visit around some cool places around Downtown Manhattan. Props to Jesse and Cheryl who built mentor.im for NYC Angelhack and got into the top 20 best teams, they’ll be pitching in SF soon. I myself ditched Clojure for the Amazon Spider thing and used Ruby which is much more appropriate. Lesson learned. I guess I’ll learn Clojure by means of books/Project Euler and what not. Advice on this will be much appreciated.

Tech learnings:

  • SSH replaces telnet, SCP replaces R* (rexec, rcp, etc..)
  • If you let other people work on your stuff without supervision and they don’t do TDD, your tests will break badly
  • As a corollary to that, try to always get everything in small chunks so one person can work on one thing without interfering the rest.
  • Do not squash your commits without checking everything works properly… it’s not easy to get back to the previous state, especially when your squashed commits come from several different branches.
  • Corecursion (again). I’m writing a cool blogpost on it that is helping me to learn it better.
  • Codata, F-algebras and F-coalgebras (thanks ELIMF)
  • Don’t go with anything than the best tool that you best know for a certain work. Hitting a nail with a screwdriver feels so dumb and that’s metaphorically what I’ve been doing for a month. I.e: Rapid prototyping with Clojure not even knowing the syntax/idioms/etc…
  • For loops on the terminal are cool and useful.
  • Know concurrency like the back of your hand. It WILL hurt you if you don’t know it and even worse you won’t even know what your problems are nor how to solve them.

Startup learnings:

  • Go for bleeding edge technology. If you are not familiar with it and you cannot afford learning it (time or money wise), go for the second best option.
  • I do have conflicting views on almost everything with some people in this world. And so do other people. This is not a learning actually but myself trying to apply some common sense to my networking.

Life learnings:

  • Learning by doing doesn’t work for me, I need to read a book, do some tutorials and whatnot first.
  • GO OUT and explore. It made my week to go out on the weekend around NYC after the most pointless week ever.
  • Again, don’t be a hermit…
  • Let others have a second chance.
  • Don’t lose your passport if you’re working in the US. Getting an I-94 under the regular time span is really, really hard.
  • 1 week with no exercise made me go dizzy after some extenuating work.
  • Be kind to your neighbors, I met cool people at Palladium’s hall elevators (lol!)
  • Make the most of your 24h day. I wrote this whole list while waiting for some dumplings here¬†(Vanessa’s dumplings)