RC 1: Orientation

November 8, 2016

Note: The title was renamed to RC:1 from Day1 to better reflect these entries as a series but not by week

Day one of RC is widely different from every other day. Its more structured and is full of presentations and socializing. This is my personal account from my day one experience, your experience may vary. They are always changing and aiming to improve the first day experience.

Getting to NYC

I took the bus up from Norfolk, Virginia to New York Saturday night. I spent most of Sunday with family. On Monday morning, I began my new commute from Chinatown to SoHo to the 455 Broadway space. On the first day, its recommended you show up at 10:00am. I explored the surrounding parts of Little Italy and Chinatown to kill some time. I settled down and had some good coffee at Happy Bones and briefly did some work to calm my nerves.



The space is on a second floor walk up inbetween a Duande Reade and a Muji store. When I got upstairs I was greeted with a beautiful open space buzzing with people. Recurse Center works with overlapping batches, people 6 weeks into their program co-mingle with the new group starting their 12-week batch. The icebreakers and intros dovetailed into lunch where we could sign up to grab lunch in the surrounding neighborhood. Recurse is luckily near Chinatown and Little Italy so there are plenty of affordable delicious diverse options to try. Our group went to Vanessa’s Dumplings which I highly recommend.

Map of Places around Recurse

Workshops and Presentations

We spun out into workshops which were graciously put on by the facilitators and the previous Fall 2 batch of students.

  • Build your own programming language by Marcio. His Presentation later was posted on HN
  • Code Dojos led by Myles: Workshop where you solve a small problem, either pairing or solo and share solutions after.
  • Machine Learning Overview by Mike, Nathan and Marko: Gave an overview of the vast field of Machine Learning.

Building a Programming Language using Swift


After a few hours of workshops, there was a schedule of presentations. Traditionally at Recurse on Thursday there are lightning talks that each person has 5 minutes to present. There was a vast diversity of talks from ones on Teaching games to play Tic Tac Toe, to Understanding Unix Tools and Building Ray Tracers. All the presentations were wonderful and hopefully in 6 weeks, our group will be doing the same.

Presentation Main Space

RC is a Community

After the presentations, many of us stuck around. We talked and got to know each other more. We made weekend plans, we shared what each other were hoping to work on. We shared our backgrounds and what we hoped to do in the future. We went for pizza at this place called Joeys’s, they do dollar pizza cheese pizza slices. A group of us came back to the space and played a game called Contact for a few hours.

Recurse is unique. Recurse is an experiment. Recurse is what you make it.