Never Graduate!

by jvalen

It has been a month since my stay at the Recurse Center ended, one of the best experiences I've ever had. Sharing three wonderful months in NYC together with creative, technical and eager to learn people.

Everything started on September 2015, while I was checking Twitter, probably expecting a random brand new JS library to feed my JavaScript fatique, but no! I read something about a place called Recurse Center mentioned in a @maryrosecook tweet. It caught my attention and right away started to learn more about it. I decided to apply and here we are!

It has been probably the most productive three months in my life, not only in the professional or technical way but also personal growth.

They described it as "a free, self-directed, educational retreat for people who want to get better at programming". To me it was like seeing into the future, an ideal place to learn, share and work, where everyone respects each other and which, from the very first moment, feels like home.

The total freedom and unstructured system allows people to create their own strategies and build things together or by themselves: study groups, improvised or carefully structured workshops, pair programming...

I love as well that the RC community pays close attention to creating an inclusive, diverse and positive environment for everyone, also providing just a small and effective set of social rules.


  • I made a Pixel Art drawing app which compiles your creation into CSS code.
    • It was a full-stack project where I used and explored cutting-edge tech such as:
      • Front-end: React + Redux + Immutable.js
      • Back-end: NodeJS + Express + Isomorphic app
    • It is deployed and running.
    • It got over 100 GitHub stars in less than a month!!

pixel art

  • I created two multiplayer games: prototypePacman and Snake multiplayer
    • prototypePacman: A multiplayer game based on Pacman and built from scratch, where the players can choose between ghost or Pacman roles.
    • Snake multiplayer: Really enjoyed working together with @Daniel Isaac Weinstein on a collaborative version of the classic Snake game.
    • Both of them are built with a different logic, prototypePacman's game logic is in the front-end side while the whole Snake's logic is in the back-end.
    • They have different back-end architectures:
      • prototypePacman: Python - Twisted
      • Snake multiplayer: Rubi - Sinatra
    • prototypePacman was used by @Sai Hei for machine learning purposes in one of his projects.

multiplayer games

c64 Effects

What did I explore?

In closing...

Just to say that I had a great time, meeting and sharing the space with such amazing people, really enjoyed the workshops, Monday talks, pairing and every single lunch/walk/coffee chatting.

I was always impressed by the projects presented every Thursday night hearing about melody generators, games, neural networks, Arduino crafts, tests, small languages, browser extensions, microservices,...some of my favorites are:

Thanks everyone!

RC winter ones 2015

jvalen profile avatar

Exploring creativity with code

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