Who is Hilary Mason?
I’m the chief scientist at bitly, a co-founder of hackNY, and a bit of a troublemaker. I like data and cheeseburgers.
What does your typical day look like?
I love my job because my typical day is never typical. I do a mix of math, coding, and working with people across science, engineering, product and business at bitly.
I also like to work on fun projects after hours (lately a new algorithm for finding books to read).
What do you do in your free time?
I live in New York City, and living in New York City is by far my biggest hobby. This city always has something new to explore! I also spend time at NYCResistor, a hacker space in Brooklyn, and run, read, and eat good food.
Where and when did you start programming?
I started programming in early elementary school, where we had Apple ][e machines and very little supervision. My first program was:
10 print “Hilary is great”
20 goto 10
…and I was hooked! It was like an infinite puzzle that just got more and more interesting.
Favorite: Programming Languages, Frameworks?
My current favorite language is python, by far. It’s so much fun to write! I also love the elegance of c when appropriate.
What OS do you prefer?
I use OS X for my local OS and Linux for servers. I have an iOS device and an android device and there are aspects of each that I like.
Current favorite apps?
Alfred app for OS X. Chrome, of course. iTerm2 and macvim.
Small picture for your Workplace?
My desk is a always a mess (and yes, that is a toy puffer fish — it’s the bitly logo). This Einstein quote has always been one of my favorites:
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
– Albert Einstein
What do you prefer? Freelance work or full time employment?
I’ve never had a real (boring) job, and I plan to keep it that way.
What are your goals for 2012?
To think about interesting problems and spend time with interesting people! I’m working on systems for making our data work for us.