Recurse Center

Welcome Tom and Alan!

We’ve got exciting news: We’ve hired Tom Ballinger and Alan O'Donnell to be facilitators for the next batch of Hacker School! I can’t describe how happy we are to have them join us.

Alan was in the first batch and has been part of Hacker School since the very beginning. He’s a polyglot and enjoys coding in everything from C to Clojure. Unsatisfied with the mathematical purity of Haskell, he’s recently started learning Coq, a language so pure it’s not even Turing complete.

Tom was in the most recent batch and was a tremendous asset to the group. I checked my notes from when I interviewed him for the batch, and I had exactly one concern: Tom was so excited about doing Hacker School I was worried we wouldn’t live up to his expectations. Given that he’s agreed to join us, I guess we did ok.

Tom and Alan embody the best of Hacker School: They love programming and are smart, intensely intellectually curious, and extremely friendly. They’re also proof that you don’t need to study computer science to become a great programmer. In fact, neither of them were CS majors or followed a traditional path to programming.

I can’t think of a single time I’ve heard either of them say something mean. On the other hand, I can think of countless times I’ve heard them ask thoughtful questions, or go out of their way to help others improve their understanding. They’re egoless programmers; their focus is always on helping themselves and others learn, and never on showing off how much they already know.

For these and many more reasons, we know that they’ll be fantastic facilitators. They have Hacker School in their DNA.

Please join Dave, Sonali and me in welcoming Tom and Alan. Together we’re going to continue to build Hacker School into the best community to learn and grow as a programmer.

Now back to reviewing applications for the next batch!

– Hacker School Nick, Dave, Sonali, Tom and Alan

P.S. We think it’s important to have both male and female facilitators, and we’re cognizant of the fact that we just hired two more dudes. We also feel strongly about only hiring people who truly grok Hacker School, and to do that they need to have experienced it first hand. We’ll be hiring more women as the gender balance of our alumni improves.