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Natecation

by Nathan H. Leung

Hi, I'm Nate. I taught myself how to code before college, and I entered the University of Michigan in the fall of 2018, where I discovered interests in math, economics, and personal writing.

College was a serious step up from what I was used to in high school, so one especially late night my second semester, while working on a problem set in the math atrium — I decided I had enough. I needed a break from school.

I began planning a gap year in Barcelona and reaching out to old web design clients from high school for contract software work. Those plans went out the window, though, when I miraculously landed an internship at Google for the coming summer.

So, when school let out in May, I flew out to San Francisco and moved into a place in the Mission District instead. I soon realized that much of what I was looking for in my gap year — the unparalleled personal and cultural growth that comes from living alone in an iconic, bohemian city; a hungry market for entrepreneurial software engineers — was right where I was in San Francisco.

In August, I officially disenrolled from my sophomore year of classes. I got my travel fix in September, zooming across America and visiting Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago as part of a ten-state excursion, before heading back to San Francisco by way of 52 hours on Amtrak.

In October 2019, shortly after the founders completed YC S19, I turned down my Google return offer and joined Jupiter as their first hire. Outside of establishing a strong engineering organization and codifying the company's guiding development philosophies and practices, I spent a year building end-to-end systems with TypeScript, React, Kotlin, gRPC, and Kubernetes.

During my gap year at Jupiter, I also established California residency by living, voting, and paying taxes in San Francisco. Because of my new domicile, I intend to transfer to a UC school in Fall 2021 with an anticipated graduation date of May 2023, and I officially phased out of my role at Jupiter in November 2020 in preparation for that. As of this writing, I'm spending the next few months writing transfer applications and completing a few missing requirements (mainly the IGETC) through the College of the Canyons, and I'm looking forward to being a student again in September 2021.

I started this little blog to share some of my experiences — I hope you enjoy.