Published: August 01 2014

    I'm putting Estonia on hold - still excited to go there, and hoping to do so in April or May, once it warms up again.

    In the meanwhile, I'm heading to Costa Rica to help facilitate Hacker Paradise a 12-week digital retreat. The location has all the benefits of nomadism (cheap, beautiful location with delicious food and friendly people) while bringing together a small community of hackers working on individual learning, contracting or their own companies.

    Here's how it happened: Casey Rosengren, a Penn classmate and fellow Penn Hackathon organizer, was doing the whole travel-and-freelance thing and did some work for a boutique hotel that was down to give Casey the entire place for a couple of months, leading to the creation of Hacker Paradise. I saw one of Casey's posts about the place, and offered to come help.

    In short: I'll be hacking by the pool in Costa Rica until November if you need me.

    PS. Care to join, either for the whole 12 weeks or for a shorter trip? We're keeping a couple of spots open.

    Published: July 03 2014

    TL;DR: My US work visa runs out in a month, so I'm leaving for about a year to go travel. I start on August 2014.

    ...actually, that's it.

    FAQ

    • Wait, you're not American? I'm an Israeli citizen born in Ukraine. I came to the US for my undergraduate degree. I kind of sound American because I went to the American International School for elementary through high school in Israel.

    • So what's the story with the visas? I was able to stay in the US on my F-1 (student) visa for two a half years after graduation through OPT and STEM. This year, I applied for an H1-B visa with a sponsor - there were 172k people for 85k slots. There was a lottery, and I didn't make it. Could have been worse.

    • Well, that sucks. Anything I can do to help? It's fine, really. Thanks for your concern! I've been meaning to travel for a while, so the timing works out. If you'd like to help,

      • Recommend particular cities that you think would be great places to live for 2 months
      • If you know any good companies that do remote work, I might be interested
      • ...actually, if you have the space and aren't planning to move for a year, I wouldn't mind storing a bit of stuff in your basement
    • What's the plan? Largely TBD, but the tentative plan is to live in six different locations for about two months each.

    The first stop is Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Why? Wired swears by it, and my further research confirms Tallinn should be an interesting place. I don't know if I want to work on my own ideas or contract remotely yet - time will tell. Plans are still up in the air for the next destination, but I am hoping to get a couple of months of skiing in over January & February.

    • That sounds fun! Can I come visit? Absolutely. My plan is, rent prices permitting, to have a guest bedroom in every place I'll be living in.

    • ...so, are you coming back? I certainly plan to. I love it here.

    • Our immigration policies are ridiculous! That's not a question. Also, politics is hard! If you want to help, consider supporting fwd.us or one of many other immigration reform groups.

    • Let's hang out before you leave! Totes. Email me and let's try to find a time and a place.

    Published: February 04 2014

    I helped organize HackCon, a conference for student hackathon organizers, this past weekend in NY.

    I gave a talk about Hackonomics, trying to quantify the financial benefit for hackathon sponsors and figuring out what the future looks like. I then annotated the slides - on Medium, for a change.

    The writing style here is a lot more like the talk I gave - more stream-of-consciosness than well-organized. Different, but not necessarily worse. Hopefully.

    Published: December 19 2013

    I gave a talk at the latest Meteor Devshop a couple of weeks ago about Houston, the Django-Admin like tool that Greg, Geoff and I are working on for Meteor.

    With over 200 stars on Github, I think we might almost be real Open Source Contributors now. It's fun!

    If you're into web development and Javascript and real-timey things, check out Meteor.

    If you already know about Meteor, you should try Houston.

    If you already use Houston (whoa, thanks!) check out the feature wishlist and send us some pull requests!

    PS. I thoroughly enjoyed TA-ing in college and I miss it, so public speaking on technical subjects is a ton of fun (though nerve-wrecking) for me. If you've got tips for things I should work on after seeing the talk, please email me!