Natecation

The blog of Nathan H. Leung — on college, startups, and living in San Francisco.

Home

Natecation

Hi, I'm Nate. I taught myself how to code before college, and I entered the University of Michigan last fall, where I took classes in writing, philosophy, and pure math. I finished with a 3.87 GPA and (especially after the math) the realization that I needed a break from school.

I was an avid student of Spanish in high school, taking four years and earning a 5 on the AP Exam, so I began planning my dream gap year in Barcelona: becoming fluent in the language, immersing myself in the culture, and supporting myself through contract software development.

Somehow, though, after that first year, I was able to land an internship at Google, so in May, I flew out to San Francisco and moved into a place in the Mission District. I soon realized that a lot of what I was looking for was right where I was in San Francisco: the limitless opportunity to improve my craft, the unparalleled personal and cultural growth that comes from living alone in an iconic, bohemian city, and a hungry market for entrepreneurial software engineers.

In mid-August, I officially disenrolled from my sophomore year of classes. I spent September traveling across America, visiting ten states and staying in Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago before heading back to San Francisco by way of 52 hours on Amtrak.

I'm now at Talar as a full-time software engineer. I joined as their first hire, shortly after the founders completed YC S19, and it's been an amazing journey so far.

I write monthly here about college and my life in San Francisco. I hope you enjoy.

Posts

The California Zephyr

1 November 2019 · 13 min read

A photojournal of 52 hours on Amtrak, from the Mississippi River to San Francisco Bay. A round trip across America for $500: SJC to LAX to DTW to BOS to PHL to MDW to San Francisco. Some tips for finding cheap flights.

Hello to All That?

16 September 2019 · 26 min read

On moving to San Francisco at nineteen and my first summer in Silicon Valley. What I've learned and why I'm coming back.

4320 Minutes

20 August 2019 · 12 min read

Why I took three unplanned days off of school the summer after my freshman year. Handling my high school suspension during the college admissions process and beyond. Thoughts four years later.

Getting a Google Internship Freshman Year

11 May 2019 · 13 min read

From application, to interview, to offer — my path to landing a full software engineering intern position at Google as a first-year student, my slightly unconventional hiring process, and a few resources I recommend for those going through the process now.

After High School Track

9 April 2019 · 12 min read

I was a 4:36 miler in high school, running at least 30 miles per week all year round. Since coming to college, week by week, I've run less and less and less. Some thoughts about getting back into it, featuring my favorite hometown haunt.

A Definitive Proof That 1 > 0

2 March 2019 · 16 min read

The most interesting proof I did in my first-year real analysis course — drawing on the ordered field axioms to prove 1 > 0. An introduction to mathematical reasoning from first principles.

A Guide to Applying to Michigan

9 January 2019 · 10 min read

Things to know when applying to the University of Michigan — LSA vs. Engineering vs. Ross, dual degrees, Ross preferred admission, AP credit, majors, housing, Bursley or Baits, and more.