Former BuzzFeed intern helps ‘Tech Tuesday’ take off
Just a year ago, articles in The Daily Targum about technology initiatives were far and few between. Today, “Tech Tuesday” regularly exposes projects developed by students, professors and members of the local community. It’s been a thoroughly gratifying experience, and we are deeply grateful to our supportive readership.
Due to the popularity of this column and the numerous technology projects worthy of coverage, “Tech Tuesday” loosely adheres to Moore’s Law, adding more writing capacity every 18 months. Geeky jokes aside, we’re happy to already introduce the third writer to this burgeoning column, a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in computer science, Daniel Borowski.
Daily Targum: What’s your coding username?
Daniel Borowski: mrdaniel
DT: When was the first time you coded, and what did you code?
DB: It was during my sophomore year of high school. I think it was a “Hello World” type program in C++. Every programmer has to do a “Hello World.”
DT: What’s your favorite programming language?
DT: When did you decide you wanted to get into computer science and why?
DB: During my junior year of high school. I knew after some introductory coding that I wanted to do something with computers, and computer science seemed like the way to go.
DT: What encouraged you to reach out to The Daily Targum to write for the tech column?
DB: In college, I realized that being a part of this tech scene is unique, and I can have an objective view about what’s going on in technology. I’ve got a knack for writing so I thought it’d be a good fit.
DT: What was the coolest thing you did while working at BuzzFeed Inc. over the summer besides writing the “30 Signs You Went to Rutgers?”
DB: Getting free coffee in the morning, iced coffee to be exact.
DT: What’s the coolest thing you ever programmed?
DB: I have this programming website where people can complete challenges. It’s called Coderbyte.com. There are 15,000 users registered, between 700 and 1,000 visits per day and a multitude more challenges completed. It had a Kickstarter and raised $3,640.
This was before I did BuzzFeed Inc. Most of the money went to servers and keeping things running.
DT: What’s an algorithm you can’t get enough of?
DB: Rather than a specific algorithm, I love the field of evolutionary algorithms. Algorithms modelled on natural selection, evolution. They’re primarily used for optimization searching. If you need to get a path in a maze, what it’ll do is it’ll have a chromosome, one path and then the best two paths will mate, and there will be mutations. Sometimes people run these algorithms for like, an hour. But the coolest thing is gencar.co, a great example of genetic algorithms.
DT: That’s definitely the coolest thing we’ve ever seen. We take it you’re not a creationist. Who’s your favorite philosopher?
DB: Very true. David Chalmers is my favorite philosopher, although I don’t necessarily agree with him. But he’s one of the most interesting guys I know in terms of philosophy. I guess in terms of life as well. Also, Saul Kripke, his logic is just so ... logical.
DT: What blogs can we find you reading?
DB: I don’t really go on BuzzFeed Inc. anymore. Gawker is there for quick news. The Huffington Post, I always go there. I like The New York Times but I can’t be bothered to pay for it. I also use Hacker News and Reddit. Who doesn’t go on Reddit? And obviously, The Daily Targum for all things about Rutgers technology.
DT: What’s your opinion on the word “hack?”
DB: I’d rather say make or build. The way I see it, hacking should be used for projects associated with shady stuff — things frowned upon. Some people say making something is hacking.
DT: What are your post-collegiate aspirations?
DB: I hate this question. I clearly could just go get a job. But I’ve spent the last three summers working full-time jobs, and it’s kind of boring. So I don’t know right now.
DT: Mac or Windows? Why?
DB: I’ve always used Windows, but everywhere I work, I use Mac. Windows, because it’s cheaper. I’m too invested in Windows and work to take the time to learn Mac.
DT: Default browser?
DB: Google Chrome.
DT: Who’s your hero in technology?
DB: I have a text document I refer to of people who influence me. I would say John Conway. He’s not really a techie developer, but he does lots of math and computer science stuff. My biggest tech influence though is Chris Coyier at chriscoyier.net. I started reading his stuff when I started to code.