Burn Rate

A blog for Torch, an NYU club for CS students to foster their technical talent and future career ambitions

Nov 12, 2020

GOTO NYU CS Considered Harmful

You probably shouldn’t go to NYU CS. I know, this is a pretty incendiary statement to make, especially coming from a blog on improving NYU’s CS community. But I figured...

Nov 4, 2020

What's Wrong: Debugging Your Grades

It’s funny. I’ve written all these posts and I kept on thinking I’ve exhausted all the possible topics, yet I’ve never written a post on how to do better in...

Oct 27, 2020

Be More Charitable

We should all be more charitable. I’ve noticed that programmers can be quite uncharitable—uncharitable towards other programmers, uncharitable towards code, even towards companies. Code is always unacceptably bad. Companies are...

Oct 25, 2020

Easy Is Hard

We recently wrapped up Spark, Torch’s mentorship program. Spark, if you’re not familiar, is a mentorship program where students are organized into batches with a few mentors. Each batch creates...

Oct 20, 2020

The Karate Kid Is Bullshit

The Karate Kid is a bullshit movie. It’s about a kid who learns karate from a mysterious sensei, trains for like 3 months and wins a tournament against far better...

Oct 7, 2020

Use Your Runway

I’ve been working on Spark, Torch’s mentorship program, where I’ve been fortunate enough to meet the next generation of precocious NYU CS students. With a few of these students, they’ve...

Sep 18, 2020

Think The Worst: The Value of Pessimism

Pessimism is a severely underrated quality of good programmers. It’s easy to write code that works when everything goes well. It’s profoundly hard to write code that doesn’t screw everything...

Aug 15, 2020

Notes On the Blogograph

Happy Birthday Burn Rate! It’s officially been one year since I wrote the first post on this blog. What started out as a reddit comment on how to survive CSO...

Aug 12, 2020

What's Missing

I wrote a post talking about the topics you should know. While writing that post, I realized there were a lot of topics I’d like to put on the list,...

Aug 5, 2020

Hit Retry

I do this fun exercise where I contrast how I learn for fun versus how I learn in school. One big difference is in having to take multiple tries to...

Aug 2, 2020

Into The Interview

I’ve talked about interviews in previous posts. However some recent experiences helping others with interview prep has given me some more insight. Here’s a couple tips on how to prep...

Jul 31, 2020

Résumé Review

Your résumé probably needs work. I’ve looked at a decent amount of résumés and it’s quite rare that I find an organized, well designed one. Here’s some tips on how...

Jul 8, 2020

Humanities and CS

I’ve written about a multitude of subjects on this blog. Mostly areas that everybody kind of agrees are important. Maybe people will quibble over a detail or two but nobody’s...

Jul 5, 2020

Paid on Time and in Full

If you’re lucky and your internship hasn’t been cancelled, you’re working this summer. For some of you, the company you’re working for may be a little…less efficient with their HR...

Jul 4, 2020

Take A Gap Year

Gap years and gap semesters are on everybody’s mind. Plenty of people online are declaring that they are going to take a gap year instead of suffer through online classes....

Jul 1, 2020

My Internships: Applying

I’m going to do something a little different. Because this blog has clearly been lacking some self indulgence, I’m going to talk about my personal journey interning at various places....

Jun 24, 2020

What's In The Box?

I’ve been trying to come up with explanations for why concepts like code splitting, abstraction, and naming are important. One analogy came to mind recently. Imagine you’re moving and need...

Jun 4, 2020

Is It Too Late?

Another notes from the underground /r/csMajors. I recently read a post asking if it’s too late to apply to fall internships. This surprised me because we’re a solid 3 months...

May 31, 2020

Stuff You Should Know

Nobody gets the same CS degree. Everybody takes courses with different professors at different times—and sometimes in completely different worlds. However there are some bit and bytes of knowledge that...

May 27, 2020

The Startup "Internship"

If there’s one thing I’d get rid of in the CS community, it’s early stage startups offering internships. You see this all the time, whether it’s on the opportunities mailing...

May 21, 2020

Chill On The Leetcode

I’m a habitual browser of /r/csMajors and /r/cscareerquestions. I’m not really sure why. I’m not looking for advice and honestly I find a lot of the posts unrealistic, bordering on...

May 19, 2020

Technical Mentorship: Non-Negotiable

What’s the one thing you should care about when looking for an internship? Is it the tech stack? The salary? The free snacks? In my opinion it’s technical mentorship. Unless...

May 15, 2020

The Case Against Double Majors

Maybe you came into NYU with some AP credit. Maybe you’re a little advanced in some area. Maybe you just pride yourself in being interdisciplinary. Whatever it is, you’ve decided...

May 14, 2020

Do You Like It?

Go on any forum for CS majors and you’ll find endless questions asking, inquiring, begging, pleading to know if CS is for them. This is not a surprise. CS is...

May 12, 2020

Things You Shouldn't Assume

I’ve found that students make certain assumptions about classes. Some of these are based on their experiences in high school. Some of these are based on an…optimistic set of expectations....

Apr 23, 2020

What To Do?

For some reason, you might have some free time. Maybe you’re facing unexpected unemployment for this summer. Maybe your plans of traveling and eating your way through Mexico got canceled....

Apr 20, 2020

Stay Humble

There’s a lot of discussion inside the CS world about imposter syndrome. For good reasons: It’s a topic that resonates with a lot of programmers. We’ve all felt inadequate or...

Apr 1, 2020

Masters Degrees: When Are They Worth It?

I’ve met more than a few people who have decided to pursue a masters degree, whether in the 5 years bachelors masters program or separately. And sometimes they’re worth it....

Mar 6, 2020

Hit The Ground Running: Starting From Zero

You want to be a CS major but you don’t have much programming experience. Maybe you’ve taken CSCI-002, the non major intro CS course. Maybe you just started learning Java....

Mar 4, 2020

Take Fewer CS Classes

I like programming. I spend a lot of my days thinking, reading and writing about programming and computer science. Until this semester, I had not taken more than one CS...

Feb 25, 2020

To Learn A Language

Ah programming languages. They’re a common subject of inquery: What language should I learn? How do I rate my language knowledge? How easy is it to learn a new language?...

Feb 10, 2020

How Much Do You Read?

“Reading?”, you inquire. “I didn’t get into computer science to read!” Yes yes, reading is scary. But it’s profoundly important if you want to be a better programmer. Contrary to...

Jan 26, 2020

Hey Man I Have An Idea: Developer Edition

Before I covered the entrepreneur side. Now let’s do the developer side. Do You Want It? Do you want to do a startup? If not, then don’t even entertain the...

Jan 25, 2020

Hey Man I Have An Idea: Entrepreneur Edition

It begins the practically the instance you learn an oodle of programming. It happens everywhere—a family reunion, a party, or really any social occasion. It always involves the same script....

Jan 15, 2020

Schedge: An Albert API

Show of hands here, who hates Albert? No, not your buddy Albert, who I’m sure is a great person. I’m talking about NYU’s Albert, the wonderful course registration site that...

Jan 2, 2020

New Year, Newly Employed: Getting Your First Job

Happy New Year everybody! It’s pretty surreal writing 2020. Feels like the future. And what better time than the future to talk about new beginnings—specifically getting your first CS job....

Dec 29, 2019

Dr StackOverflow or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Being Stuck

Getting stuck sucks. There’s no way around it. Whether it’s not being able to find the missing semicolon or having trouble understanding this new library, being stuck is one of...

Dec 21, 2019

An Aside: Working on Side Projects

Side projects are incredibly important. They’re arguably more important than your actual courses in terms of job applications or even how much you learn. They help you learn practical technologies...

Dec 19, 2019

Sent From My iPhone: A Guide to Emails

People don’t use email to its full potential. They hem and haw about sending an email. They wring their hands about minor wording. And worst of all, they don’t think...

Dec 5, 2019

Hacking the Hackathon

Hackathons. Love ‘em, hate ‘em, they’re everywhere. It seems like every college has one. Whether you’re a computer science student or simply adjacent to programming, you always have the opportunity...

Nov 14, 2019

Get That Big N Job

So you want a job. Not just any job though. A job at a place like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. In programmer parlance, these are called “Big N” companies....

Nov 12, 2019

What's A Computer? A Guide to NYU CAS CS: Part II

Welcome back to my guide to NYU CAS CS! Hope you enjoyed the last post. Here’s a few other topics that I feel are important for CS majors to know....

Aug 19, 2019

What's A Computer? A Guide to NYU CAS CS: Part I

So you’ve decided to become a CS major. Maybe you like playing video games and want to make your own. Maybe you’ve been tinkering with computers your whole life and...

Aug 19, 2019

Surviving NYU's Hardest CS Class: Part II

Assembly If you’re lucky, your professor won’t do a lot of assembly. However, sometimes you pull the short straw. Fortunately even when professors do cover assembly, it’s not in a...

Aug 15, 2019

Surviving NYU's Hardest CS Class: Part I

Let’s set the scene. You’re a sophomore or junior CS major in NYU CAS. You’ve crushed Intro to Computer Science, destroyed it in Data Structures. You strut into your next...

Aug 14, 2019

Welcome!

Welcome to Burn Rate, Torch’s new blog! Torch is an incubator for NYU’s tech community. Our goal is to foster an environment where students can further their career ambitions as...

This project is maintained by torchNYU