Featured on Dec 05, 2011
"I failed my way to success. - Thomas Edison"
I've been programming computers and pushing pixels since I was a kid. My dad is a programmer and he had me programming games in QBASIC when I was in 5th grade. I'm a proud New Jerseyan and Rutgers graduate who has been jumping around the New York Startup scene since 2008. Before Tutorspree, I was the lead developer at SeatGeek, which was an incredible learning experience. We moved to Silicon Valley to participate in YCombinator in the Winter of 2011, and moved the company back to NYC after the program ended. There's no place I'd rather be. I love helping people learn how to code, and you can find my tutor profile here: http://www.tutorspree.com/tutor/10675
In general, how was your experience at YCombinator? Were you tempted to stay in Silicon Valley after the program ended?
I would highly recommend applying to YC for anyone interested in doing a startup. The YC partners and the network are amazing. It gives you a tremendous advantage when you're able to get product advice from people like Paul Graham, Garry Tan, Brian Chesky, etc. We thought about staying in Silicon Valley and we were a little tempted, but we think there's something exciting going on in the startup scene here in New York and we wanted to be a part of it. Also, New York is just a much better place to live (not counting the weather).
You’re currently living in Jersey City and commuting into the City. What are some of your favorite restaurants/bars in JC that we should consider crossing over to Jersey to try out?
I tell people "Jersey City is like living in Brooklyn except no one thinks you're cool." Downtown Jersey City is great, and it only takes me about 20 minutes to get to our office in Tribeca. Zeppelin Hall Biergarten is really popular, and we also have a Barcade. 9th & Coles Tavern, White Star, and Light Horse Tavern are some of my other favorite spots. We have some good coffee shops, too.
You mention that you love helping people learn how to code and even offer to tutor people using your own app. What do you think are the best first steps for people who are interested in learning how to code?
I think the best thing for people usually is to figure out some sort of project that interests you - usually it's a web application or prototype of some startup idea, and to go out and try and build it. All the pieces you figure out along the way stick with you and go into your tool belt for future projects. For example: how a simple login/authentication system works, how to do simple things with jQuery, how to get input from forms and write them to a database.
I'm a big fan of Codecademy for people who have never programmed anything in their life. Treehouse is cool too. And of course, Tutorspree has an incredible group of Computer Programming tutors who can help you learn to code quickly, or help you solve that annoying bug you're stuck on.