A Day in the Life of a hackNY Fellow

Inspired by the “Day in the Life” post on HN and its many satires, 2012 hackNY Fellows Amy Quispe and Jennifer Rubinovitz present a satirical look at a day in the life of a hackNY Fellow.

08:27 Wake up. Empty energy drink bottles everywhere. Energy bar wrappers. Pizza boxes. Looks like roommate threw another hackathon. I don’t know why we eat like we’re about to run a marathon to sit in a chair for 48 hours, but I’m sure they made something awesome. Maybe I should have spent my weekend gorging myself and learning a new framework.

08:30 Alarm goes off. It’s a special alarm that I wrote at a hackathon. It goes off three minutes after I wake up so that I actually get out of bed. So ready for this. Check my email. Enjoy inbox 0 because I’m not a founder yet. Check Hacker News. One of the Fellows did something related to the front page again. Check LinkedIn. Recruiters have been trying to hire me as a senior software architect since I graduated high school, but ever since I updated my work experience for this summer, I’ve been flooded with offers.

9:00 Morning routine. You probably won’t care about this until I’m actually a founder. It involves using Trello to make sure I go grocery shopping and do laundry, and assigning tasks to friends on Asana.

10:00 Go in to work. We technically don’t have a schedule, but we technically all show up now.

10:15 About to start working when the guy that sits across from me shows up. Take out my phone, get ready to take a picture. Turns out that a lot of people that work at startups are hipsters. They want to work at companies that you haven’t heard of. Since this guy started two weeks ago, he’s slowly been exhibiting more hipster traits. Today he’s added a plaid shirt and exposed ankles. I snap a picture and know exactly what filter I want to use. I decide to download instagram. I’m an ironic late adopter. That’s why my hackNY business card says my title is #winning.

10:45 Morning standup. Since I’m an intern, my project is kind of siloed off from everyone else’s work, but I use this time as a vocabulary lesson. Half of the summer is over and I still don’t know all of these words. I do know that when in doubt, you can always use the word “refactoring.”

12:00 Text Vivek, another hackNY Fellow at a different startup. Ask him if he wants to grab lunch. I do this about two or three times a week.

12:50 Check the hackNY facebook group. Looks like a Fellow suggested a 36 hour hackNY jumpstyle marathon. I don’t know what is up with the hackNY Fellows. They always seems to have such strange niche interests. It also seems that for every niche interest, at least a third of the Fellows are down. I don’t know what jumpstyle is, but I’m down too.

13:00 We don’t get lunch every day, but today there’s a terrible thunderstorm so the company surprises us with food. Pizza and salads. I hear that this is one of the big differences between Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley. Apparently it doesn’t rain in Palo Alto.

15:30 Some people use the pomodoro technique. I use the avocado technique. It involves taking a break to eat some avocado in the afternoon.

15:33 The office dog wants some avocado. So hard to say no!

15:45 Vivek responds to me, lets me know he’s already had lunch. He does this about three or four times a week. Also get an invitation to lunch from a friend in Palo Alto. It seems most my friends still don’t know what the NY in hackNY stands for.

17:00 I suggest to someone that we have a ping pong break. I am informed that the ping pong tables are primarily used for beer pong.

18:20 Get off work. Time to go to hackNY event. Notice that everyone is still at the office with no signs of stopping anytime soon. Oh, startup life. Consider coming back afterwards.

18:40 Show up at hackNY event. Waiting for food to arrive. Bond with the other Fellows. We have a ridiculous argument about Scala frameworks even though they all suck.

18:50 Start scoping out this place. A quick look at the snacks reveals that this place is at least post Series A. Lots of exposed brick and primary colors everywhere. This place’s interior theme seems to be “if Google were in Chelsea.” Fun fact: Google has an office in Chelsea. I don’t know who’s speaking today but he’s famous and/or important.

18:51 We’ve started to figure out who the speaker is. He’s about the same age as all of us, but nobody recognizes him.

19:00 Food arrives – right on time!

19:03 We finally figure out what’s vegetarian and dig in.

19:30 The speaker starts. He tells a fantastic story, using business terminology we’re not familiar with and high-level technical terminology we’re almost uncomfortable with.

20:30 Questions start. I never get a good answer for how to pick a co-founder, since they seem to have all known their co-founders since they were six. They’ve been working on software projects with their co-founders since they were six. I wouldn’t want to work with anyone I knew when I was six, and I certainly didn’t know how to code back then, unlike everyone else. Sometimes I wonder if there’s a secret six-year-old coding camp that people aren’t telling me about.

21:00 The event is officially over. People chill out, talk to the speaker, and Manya tries to give someone the food to take home. A group of us head out and we wonder if we’ll really go into this world instead of the sexy consulting or investment banking jobs that our universities promised us. I know that, at least for me, I think that the answer is yes.