See His Seelio: HackNorthwestern Co-President, Northwestern Senior Wesley Sun
In the course of our travels at Seelio, we meet awesome people. One of them is Wesley Sun, a senior at Northwestern University. We met Wesley on our Illinois tour, and had a great time talking to him and the rest of HackNorthwestern. We thought you’d like to meet him too. So without further ado, say hello to Wesley!
1) If you could describe your college career in one word/phrase, what would it be and why?
This is really hard but I think the right word would be discovery. I’m always discovering and learning new things in college, mainly new career paths or new interests. During my time in college I’ve gone through so many phases in terms of academic interest and it always changes when I discover new things. I was into mechanical engineering, then film, artificial intelligence, video game development, and now web development.
2) Your one-line bio says, “Addicted To Learning New Stuff”, What is the coolest thing you’ve learned lately?
Well I’ve recently been teaching myself Ruby on Rails in my spare time.
Slight tangent, you might not get if you’re not a programmer. Today I learned about the COMEFROM statement which is more or less the opposite of a GOTO statement. It’s a really bad idea and was actually implemented as a joke but it just made my day.
3) What about coding in Matlab has made you realize you really wanted to code?
I’m not sure if Matlab made me realize it or if I just happened to be using Matlab when I first coded. I just thought coding was neat, at that time I was writing programs to do neat stuff and constantly trying to make them run faster and faster.
4) You mention on your Seelio that you were in the top 11% at the Google AI Challenge. Can you tell us more about that experience and why it was so transformative for you?
Before the AI challenge, being a computer science major for me was just doing coursework and getting good grades. I enjoyed it but still hadn’t had the passion. During the winter break of last year I decided to enter a programming competition just for fun. I only worked on it for a little more than a week but it just consumed me during that time (don’t worry, I still socialize). I really enjoyed that experience and the thrill of making cool stuff. Since then I’ve been programming a lot more and working on projects outside of classes.
5) You mentioned that you are always working on a project. Can you tell us more about your current project?
Well, my main project at the moment is HackNorthwestern, we’re going through some growing pains right now and are reorganizing the club. I also have two other projects, I’m teaching myself Ruby on Rails and I’m making a small video game with a friend.
6) HackNorthwestern hosts hack nights occasionally. Can you take us through a typical hack night? What are the purposes of these hack nights.
So at these hack nights we order pizza and have people come work on anything they want. We have an IRC chatroom set up so that people who need help with something can connect with other attendees without disrupting everyone. Sometimes we get lively discussions about some random topic, usually it’s about programming. The HackNorthwestern exec team holds meetings at this time for a short while and then we split up to do our own thing. At the latest hack night one of our regulars brought the students he TAs for to teach them Ruby on Rails.
7) What do you eventually see yourself doing? Where would you be in 5 years?
My current plan is to finish up my masters and then work at a start up in San Francisco (I know, this sounds cliche). After getting some experience I hope to start up my own thing within 5 years.
For more on what Wesley is up to, check out his Seelio.