Hacker Life

Written by Waseem Ahmad. Posted in Blog, Computer Science

I’ve attended quite a few hackathons in the past month. This happened as a combination of my personal interest, opportunities coming along my way, and immersion in the hacker culture at Facebook during my internship. Here are my views about hackathons:
  • You sacrifice on sleep to create something really cool that interests you with an incredibly limited amount of time and resources.
  • Along the way, you run into issues that you could not have foreseen. Sometimes this leads to a pivot or a restart to a completely different idea. Other times, you can alleviate the issue through a clever hack.
  • You have to fully leverage your team and make sure every cylinder is firing.
  • You have to create a product / prototype that everyone will find creative, innovative, useful, and technically challenging.
  • If you’re solely in it for money / prizes, you’re unlikely to succeed or remain motivated. The whole point is to program and collaborate in a playful and exploratory manner. The biggest win is the knowledge and experience you gain coming out of the hackathon.

Ok Glass

Written by Waseem Ahmad. Posted in Blog, Computer Science

googleglassI’ve wondered what it’s like to be a celebrity or mildly famous. I think wearing Google Glass has given me an idea. Everywhere I walk, people turn heads to look at me. I was walking by a group of people at work and my friend was behind me, he reported a trail of murmurs: “Is he wearing Google Glass?”, “Oh! Google Glass!” At social gatherings and events, it doesn’t take long for me to become the center of attention. In the two and a half weeks that I’ve owned Glass, I’ve probably had over a hundred people approach me about it and I’ve let half of them try it on. I don’t really want all of this attention but I guess it comes as part of the package.

Pick-up Experience
I received an email with the subject “Your Glass is now ready! Please purchase.” I immediately scheduled a pick up appointment in San Francisco. Glass Explorers get the option to pick up their unit from Los Angeles, Mountain View, or San Francisco in CA or from NY. I was given the option to bring along a friend for the event. So I invited Sal to come along and on July 3rd 6:30 PM at Pier 1.5 we greeted two people from Google wearing Glass. There were about ten of us for the 6:30 appointment and we were put on two speed boats that took us across the bay from San Francisco to Alameda at alarming speeds. We joked about how Google was kidnapping us. At Alameda we were shuttled to a remote building owned by Google. We proceeded to check in and make our way to the rooftop where half the people present were wearing Glass chattering about with champagne in their hands.