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HackNY Week 1 and 2

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    Jacob Aronoff

HackNY Week 1

This was my first week of HackNY, and I loved it!!! I'm going to write this post by going over, first, the events that we went to, and then I'm going to talk about how i liked each of them

Tech Talk 1: Rob Spectre

Rob Spectre, a programmer for the NYC counter human trafficking effort, came to talk to us about the work he does to prevent and/or catch human traffickers more effectively. His talk was not only powerful but also very eye opening. He, along with some ADA's showed us some cases and had us guess the sentences that the offenders got. Often times, we would think they would get 25-life sentences but in reality they only got a couple of years. At the end of his talk Rob showed us the efforts we, as programmers and fellows, could take this summer. He gave us a couple projects we could potentially work on. Many of the projects were simple scraping projects that even the simplest programmers could do. Information on his team

Fellows Workshop 1: Entrepreneurship in the Middle East

Today Will gave us a talk about his experience with programming and entrepreneurship at NYU's satellite campus in the UAE. It was very interesting to hear the kinds of issues and solutions they have in the middle east. One problem that he discussed is surveying the desert; a solution currently being used is automated drone flights that take pictures and report it to a person. The reason why entrepreneurship in the middle east is growing rapidly is because the average citizen has a plethora of disposable income that they can use on apps and inventions.

Tech Talk 2: AlumNY Panel

Meeting at WeWork in Dumbo, we got to hear from different alumni who live and work around the city and how HackNY still affects their lives, postively, today. The thing that was most apparent to me was how close they were with each other. You could tell that their friendships were real, and went across different HackNY classes and ages. We got to hear from alumni who are working as lead engineers at companies like google, kickstarter, buzzfeed, etc. I think, overall, it made me (and my peers too) immediately closer with each other as we knew that buying into this experience and getting to know each other must be amazing.

New York Tech Meetup

Today we went to the NYC Tech Meetup, the largest of it's kind, boasting 50,000 members. There are multiple presenters who demo their technology and answer questions about it too. Many of the projects are socially concious; providing resources for minorities or the disadvantaged. After the meetup, we went to another room in the building for some wine, cake, and networking (everyone's favorite combination). I got to talk with a group of high schoolers who presented their VR demo to the audience.

Tech Talk 3: Mayor's Office of Data Analytics

This talk was held at Facebook's NYC headquarters, which houses the instagram team. The interior is absolutely amazing, the names of each of the rooms are hipster things like man-buns, bespokes, etc. The talk was about the Mayor's office and how they use data analytics to solve different problems around NYC. The problems range from helping the elderly find accesible housing to finding which buildings are more likely to be infested with rats. I actually think I'm going to do some work for them as part of my social good project this summer, a suggested thing for each fellow.

Fellows Workshop 2: Vlogging with Sean:

This was a cool workshop where Sean, a bu student, showed us his process and a couple famous youtubers process for vlogging. He worked through an example with us for an upcoming video


This was an absolutely amazing week; I got to meet the other fellows in my program and i loved it!!! I can already tell these are going to be great friends for the rest of my life, the other fellows are kind, funny, and passionate. This week I also met up with a family friend who helped me figure out what I want to be doing for Co-op and life in general. I learned that I really want to be working for and helping small startups. As a full stack engineer, I'm in a unique position to help these companies grow and thrive. I'm very soon going to write up a plan for a program I want to start up in boston that will be exactly that; helping new companies started by college kids thrive.


In addition to the fellowship i'm also working at DataDog! DataDog is a company that does cloud monitoring for services. Basically its a place where you can check on the health and usage of different services in your company's infrastructure. I'm loving work so far! The office is beautiful, it's on the 45th floor of the New York Times building. The office has everything I could ever possibly need; yogurt, granola, energy bars, cheese, you name it. They also have 6 shelves of tate's cookies and 2 different kinds of coldbrew on tap!!! I'm working on a cool project whose goal is to speed up part of the companies workflow and internal infrastructure. It's a tough project but I'm learning a lot, which is good.

Soundtrack for the week

MM... Food - MF DOOM

Malibu - Anderson Paak

Thrill of the Arts - Vulfpeck

Luke Cage Sountrack