On April 29 to May 1, I was able to attend a hackathon at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) called LA Hacks. A hackathon is defined as “an event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming” although this definition is kind of outdated as you can do stuff other than computer programming (but a huge part of it does involve programming!).
During this event, I was able to meet a different number of people who (I consider) celebrities and/or famous. At previous LA Hacks, there were other people such as the founder/CEO of Snapchat, and co-founders of Reddit. This year, the two stars, so to speak, of the event was Josh Brener and Amanda Crew, who plays Nelson ‘Big Head’ Bighetti and Monica respectively on HBO’s show Silicon Valley. Upon hearing them speak, and interact with the crowd, it was obvious that these two were just normal people. Monica even talked about her experience with the paparazzi (which at the time was apparently rare since she was a new celebrity) and how they captured her smoking a cigarette in a weird pose (she quit smoking shortly after that, haha).
I was also able to meet with “internet-famous” people such as the developer of Cydia (those who have jailbreaked their iPhones will know exactly who he is), Jay Freeman (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Freeman). Jay held a series of workshops where he talked about how computers really worked, and then one on computer security and hacking iPhones/Android devices.
The CEO of Tinder also made a surprise appearance, which was interesting. Apparently, a majority of students at UCLA were on Tinder. Good to know, I guess.