I have no self-control. Luckily, I know this about myself. This allows me to consciously engineer my life so that despite having the emotional maturity of a heroin-addicted lab rat, I'm occasionally able to get things done. Mm, a waste of time! I waste a lot of time on Reddit. If I want to procrastinate on something, I'll often open a new tab and dive down a Reddit-hole. But sometimes one needs…
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Apr 2017

I was originally planning to write this post reflecting on 2016 and my year-end donations (I know, better late than never). But given the political climate in the U.S. right now, I'm feeling pretty shaken. I don't usually write about politics, but I decided I needed to share a few thoughts. [video] First, donations. [Note: for those who don't know my background; I am an effective altruist, and I e…
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I just came home from a vow of silence at a meditation center in northern California. It's a strange feeling coming back to city life after five days of silent meditation. Looking around at puffing joggers, Christmas wreaths, eager couples waiting outside restaurants, the stop and start of traffic—it's almost too much for my senses. The last time I took a vow of silence was 5 years ago. It l…
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(Note: this is the second part of this story. You can read the first part here.) Despite the rejection from 23AndMe, I kept pushing. I applied to the all the big hiring websites. Hired rejected me from their platform. I got no bites anywhere on AngelList or LinkedIn—not even cold e-mails from recruiters. Nothing from WhiteTruffle or SmartHires. Not a breath of interest anywhere. [video] I ke…
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A couple weeks ago I had my last day as Director of Product at App Academy. This coming Monday, I will be starting work as a software engineer at Airbnb. Here's the story of why I left App Academy, the tribulations of my ensuing job search, and why I decided to join Airbnb. [video] Disclaimer: in this blog post and the next, I'll be speaking frankly about compensation packages I received from (…
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2015 has come to a close and I've just finished my first year's donations. In all I gave 33% of my pre-tax income, which since I started my job in June, amounts to $21,200 USD I donated to high-impact charities. [video] Donations I donated $5,300 to AMF, the Against Malaria Foundation, which distributes low-cost anti-mosquito bednets in parts of Africa that are ravaged by malaria. AMF is ranked by…
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EA Global, the largest ever public gathering of EAs, has left me reflecting on what it means to be an effective altruist. A few weeks ago, 400+ attendees and prominent EA activists, including Will MacAskill and Nick Bostrom (and Elon Musk!), converged on a Google Campus in Mountain View to discuss the state and direction of the EA movement. I ended up donning a volunteer shirt and helping out&mdas…
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It's officially official. At week 8 into my 12 week coding bootcamp, I was whisked into a room with Ned Ruggeri, the co-founder of App Academy. He sat me down and told me that I was the top student in my cohort (40~ students), and asked that I come on as an instructor and help teach the bootcamp. With the position comes a competitive package, the opportunity to teach others what I've learned, stre…
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It's been two weeks now since I began the coding bootcamp at App Academy. The material has been blasted at us at a breakneck pace, and I've been learning a ton. Among the things I've learned: what “90 hours a week” feels like. The past 5 days, I've been at App Academy from 10AM till midnight, every single day. It's strange; it feels like just a few days ago that I first posted that I w…
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A new stage in my life began four days ago. I got out of a taxi on 7th and Market Street, with all of my belongings stuffed into a backpack and one suitcase. To my left, homeless men were peddling their wares and accosting passersby, and on my right, I could see the dizzying buildings packed with San Francisco's most promising startups. I've never lived in a city like this before. Not like San Fra…
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