Hacker Paradise


A traveling community for developers, designers, and other creative types.

Bali | Thailand | Vietnam | Philippines

Starting February 2015


Apply Now

What is Hacker Paradise?

At Hacker Paradise, people come from all over the world to get away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives to learn new things, work on side projects, and find some work/life balance. When traveling with our community, you don't have to worry about housing, workspace, or meeting amazing people - we take care of all that for you.

Our first batch was in Costa Rica in the fall of 2014. This February, we will be landing in Southeast Asia and spending a month in each of the following:

Vietnam

Beautiful landscapes, friendly people, and a damn good cup of coffee.

Thailand

In your spare time, play with elephants or explore ancient temples.

Bali

A tropical paradise where beaches are juxtaposed with culture and tradition.

Philippines

Stunning beaches and one of the best dive spots in the world.

Structure


Daily Check-ins & Weekly Demos

Every morning, we split up into groups for a daily check-in to get some accountability and to find help for any blockers. On Thurdsays, we come together for demo night where everyone showcases what they worked on that week.

Workshops & Mentors

Throughout the retreat, we bring in expert mentors to work with participants and hold workshops on topics ranging from ethical hacking to UX research to the physics of quantum computing.

Group Meals

Every Monday, we come together as a group for breakfast. On Thurdsays, after demos, we all have a group dinner. These meals are on us. Participants also typically eat lunch together during the work week.

What will you work on?

Self-directed study

Have a language or framework that you've been meaning to pick up? Dive into it here while surrounded by peers who are happy to help.

Side projects

Take some time away from your day job to work on your own projects. Contribute to an open source project, start blogging or pick up a new hobby.

Remote work

You have the ability to work from anywhere in the world - we make it simple and fun. Leave the logistics and community to us so you can focus on work and play.

Entrepreneurship

Whether you're a small startup or a gal with an idea, Hacker Paradise is a great place to go heads-down and push out a product, get feedback, or find a brainstorming buddy.

A Day in the Life

All structure is optional at Hacker Paradise, so you can find a rhythm that works for you. Here is a sample day in the life:

  • 7am - yoga, jogging, reading, etc.
  • 8am - breakfast with friends from the group
  • 9:30am - stand-up meeting at the workspace
  • 9:45am - start morning work session
  • 1pm -   lunch at a nearby restaurant or cafe
  • 2pm -   work, work, work
  • 6pm -   talk from one of our mentors
  • 7pm -   dinner and hanging out with the group
  • 8pm -   games, movies, or nightlife

Our Story

Hacker Paradise was born in the summer of 2014. Independently, we had both decided to spend an extended period traveling around the world while freelancing. We were excited at the adventures before us, but at the same time, we were sad to be leaving behind the incredible communities we'd found in New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. So we decided to create our own community abroad.


We found a nice, little hotel near the beach in Costa Rica, and brought together a group of two dozen developers for a 12 week retreat. Traveling with a tight-knit, intellectual community was so much fun, we knew we had to do it again. We also knew we wanted to open it up to other interesting people to mix things up and gain from a diversity of experience.

Thus, Hacker Paradise was born - our traveling community of developers, designers, and other creative types.



Past Participants

Charlie Guo


YCombinator alum, Software consultant, Digital nomad

Started writing Unscalable, a book of interviews with start-up founders about finding early customers and “doing things that don’t scale.”

Mentored participants learning web development with Python.

Saskia Vola


Freelance Natural Langauge Processor, Computational Linguist, Berliner

Moved beyond text processing and learned web development with Python and Flask.

Built raveomat, an electronic music concert recommendation engine.

Blake Johnson


Teacher at Flatiron School, Rails Dev, Hacker School alum, New Yorker

Created his own programming language (codenamed buhlahkee) to learn more CS theory.

Started planning the curriculum for Flatiron School’s next NYC Web Development Fellowship.

Nicola Hughes


Data Journalist, Mozilla-Knight Fellow, Alligator wrangler

On a sabbatical from work to improve technical skills and get some sun.

Learned pandas (the python Data Analysis library) and Flask-driven web development.

Urban Skudnik


Physicist, Remote Developer, Slovenian

Took a break from work to focus on functional programming.

Learned Scala through Martin Odersky’s Coursera class.

Blake Embrey


Engineer at MuleSoft, HackReactor alum, Open-source contributor

Worked remotely for Mulesoft to help spread RAML, the RESTful API modeling language.

Contributed to open-source projects like metalsmith, code-problems, and pluralize.


Photos from Hacker Paradise: Costa Rica

FAQ

What do you mean by Hacker?

By hacker, we mean someone who doesn't overthink things when jumping into a new idea - someone who favors action over planning and implements new ideas quickly. You don't have to be a programmer to have a hacker mentality.

Do I have to be a developer to come?

No! Our community is also open to designers and other creative types. If you're not sure if you'd be a good fit, err on the side of applying or reach out to us and we can talk about your situation.

Who else will be at Hacker Paradise?

Our first batch was focused on developers - you can read some participant profiles above. This time around, we are broadening our scope to creators of all stripes, including designers, writes and enterpreneurs.

When is Hacker Paradise?

The program will begin on February 15 and end around May 15. We will spend 28-30 days in each location.

Can I come for a shorter period?

Participants can visit Hacker Paradise for anywhere between one week and three months. Priority is given to longer-term stays.

What can I work on?

You are free to work on anything you choose. To get the most out of your time at Hacker Paradise we encourage making time for side projects and collaborating with other participants.

Is Hacker Paradise cheaper than just renting an apartment?

Probably not. Showing up to a place and renting a dirt-cheap apartment can be a great way to travel. This is a different experience that includes accommodations, a workspace, and an intellectual community.

Where will you be staying within the countries above?

We're still scouting out locations and will be visiting potential hotels, villas, and apartments in December to make sure they're a good fit. We'll officially release hotel and city information at the beginning of January.

What will the Internet situation be like?

We're talking with local cafes and co-working spaces to find dedicated places to work that have consistently good Internet. Everyone will also be provided with SIM cards and a local data plan as backup.

What will the work/life balance be?

We work hard during the week so we can relax and go on adventures over the weekend. Many of our activities will be community-driven, but you can expect to find people interested in exercise, yoga, board games, music, nightlife and other areas.

Is it okay if I have dietary restrictions?

On our first retreat, we had a diabetic, a vegetarian, and people who ate ketogenic and paleo diets. You may have to prepare more of your own food and make substitutions at restaurants, but you should be able to make it work.

What about visas?

For citizens of most countries, Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali (Indonesia) have visas-on-arrival that are valid for 30 days. For Vietnam, you need to apply in advance using a local visa agent - we will explain this process along the way.

What's Included?

Hacker Paradise costs between $600 and $1500 per month, depending on your preferred room type (shared vs single vs suite).

Here's what's included:

  • Bedroom in hotel, apartment hotel, or villa (depending on location)
  • Desk in dedicated working space equipped with working Wi-Fi
  • Dedicated 3G SIM and Data Plan for back-up internet on the go.
  • Weekly Breakfast and Dinner with the group.
  • Monthly Group Activity (BBQ, Excursion, etc)

What is the application process?

  1. Let us know you're interested by applying below. The application consists of a few short questions about you, your background, and what you're hoping to gain from the experience.
  2. After we evaluate the application, we'll schedule a brief video interview with an organizer or one of our alumni. This gives us a chance to find out more about you and for you to ask any questions you have about the community.
  3. After the interview, we'll reach out within two weeks to let you know if you're accepted. Once accepted, you'll be able to confirm your itinerary and reserve a spot.

Ready to take the leap?


Apply Now

THE ORGANIZERS:


ALEXEY KOMISSAROUK

JUNIOR CRUISE DIRECTOR

Alexey is a tech community organizer and engineer for hire. He started PennApps, one of the largest college hackathons, and has worked for companies like Facebook, Dropbox, and Google. Exiled from the U.S. by way of visa lottery, he is traveling the world to find the next Hacker Paradise.

CASEY ROSENGREN

CAT HERDER

Casey spends much of his time writing Go (the programming language) and playing Go (the board game). When not running Hacker Paradise, he does Ruby and Go consulting and organizes the Gopher Gala.

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