now

I am currently an independent developer in New York City working on freelance and open source projects. By the way, check out my awesome work.

Other things I do in my free time include learning guitar, engaging with peers on forums, and singing with my awesome acapella group Vocal Soulstice!

Work

I make useful open source projects like PackageJason that help developers identify boilerplates quickly using ranking formulae adopted from quantitative methods used in finance. Link ➡

I also do data visualizations like this one where I created an algorithm to quantitatively identify Ben Thompson's top posts over time. Link ➡

Writing

A selection of Essays:

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Contact

I am best reached on Twitter, but if you want to reach me via email just contact me at x@x.io where x = swyx.

Humans of Hacker News

you're really reading this alt text? go back to xkcd

In honor of the death of DevBootCamp I put up a HN post offering to do a free phone call to exchange knowledge. I was pleasantly surprised by the responses.

I got a total of 8 bookings. Here is a list of the types of people that responded:

  • A Canadian developer working at a food related startup in SF, interested in making a side project to handle personal finances.
  • A German computer scientist researching data science/machine learning in banking/insurance, in particular breaking existing knowledge silos.
  • A Rwandan infosec engineer working in Korea looking for startup ideas in currency trading, which I explained in ten minutes (in short: the trend is your friend).
  • A 17 year old wunderkind from New York who has been running a Bitcoin ATM for the past 5 years looking to get a Finance guy's perspective on cryptocurrency valuation.
  • An electrical engineer turned cyber threat analyst working in Tel Aviv considering pivoting to fintech in New York through the Recurse Center.
  • A data scientist and family office manager who wanted to discuss three different ideas in European fintech from financial planning to a European CoinList.
  • Two were no-shows, one Indian, one Ugandan. Time zones are tricky sometimes.

While probably all respondents identify as male, I think this was a good snapshot of the diversity of origins and interests on Hacker News. There was no individual surprises, but the totality of the exposure I received as a result of this experiment was very pleasantly surprising. A couple calls ran to over 1 hour, and I often found myself offering to check in in 6 months to see where they are in their goals.

I do think there is a fundamental human desire to connect over shared interests.

While existing meetups and online forums (Reddit, Quora, HN, even 21.co) exist, there is something in the human connection in 30 minutes of undivided attention by voice. What if you could schedule a regular time slot once a week, every week? In a year you would have talked to 52 humans that you otherwise would not have had exposure to.

If there is a way of qualifying the calls to have more than a 2% chance of making your year, it will be worth doing. If you are reading this, it is very likely you are exactly this kind of person.

Honestly I don't know where to go from here. I'd be keen on doing more calls but perhaps one a week instead of 8. If you are interested, fill out my interest form and I will see how to proceed. If there are more than 50 signups I will set up a simple platform to match people based on stated interests.

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