Recurse Center

Winter 2014 residents

Allison Kaptur

Ever since we ran our first experimental residents program in the fall 2012 batch, residents have become an institution at Hacker School. We’re delighted to welcome another exciting crop for the winter 2014 batch.

Five of our former residents are joining us again: Mel Chua, the rare engineering education expert who’s also an engineer herself; Stefan Karpinski, a co-creator of Julia who’s gotten Hacker Schoolers hooked on LLVM, dynamic dispatch, and the intricacies of floating-point numbers; Lindsey Kuper, a researcher on the cutting edge of deterministic parallel computing; Kevin Lynagh, a prolific ClojureScript and JavaScript hacker with one of the coolest tattoos we’ve ever seen; and Jessica McKellar, a Twisted maintainer, Python core contributor, and talented nerd-sniper.

Three new residents are joining us as well. Evan Czaplicki is the creator of Elm, a purely functional language for web programming. Greg Price is a kernel hacker, programming language enthusiast, and systems programmer who’s worked at Ksplice and Quora. Robert Lefkowitz, aka r0ml, gave a talk about APL during the last batch of Hacker School that had more Q&A and more laughter than any other talk we’ve had.

The Maintainers Program didn’t work out as well as we hoped last batch, and we’re discontinuing it (in its current form, anyway). We found that for Stefan, being a maintainer was just like being a resident—he was already helping Hacker Schoolers contribute to Julia. For Glyph and David, Hacker Schoolers weren’t very interested in contributing to their projects. We’re still interested in running experiments that help Hacker Schoolers contribute to free and open source software, and we’ll have more experiments in the future.

We want to create an environment where all Hacker Schoolers can become much better programmers over the course of the batch. Residents help make sure that even the most advanced Hacker Schoolers—many of whom have more expertise than facilitators—get exposed to new ideas, have their thinking challenged, and work with specialists in industry and academia. We can’t wait to see what the winter batch will do with this round of residents.