Today’s Magoosher is Zach Millman, our resident software/app-building/coding/tech-things-that-most-of-us-don’t-understand expert. In fact, he used to be the only software engineer in the office for about three years. (For those of you well-versed on Magoosh trivia, you’ll notice that’s about the entire life of the company!) But not to worry, Magoosh recently hired another engineer to help him out. Unfortunately for the rest of the office, though, his name is also Zack. But it’s okay — look! He has a “k” instead of an “h”.
Zach received a BS in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science with a minor in Japanese from UC Berkeley. Zach likes good design, weird electronic music, and bad sci-fi movies. He has a crazy coffee cup and his favorite GRE word is misanthrope.
And now, a Q&A with the Zach with an ‘h’:
Q: Zach, I heard you had a pretty wild weekend. How was it?
A: Great! Thanks for asking. I spent Saturday evening lying on the floor in an old movie theater listening to this really loud ambient music and staring at the ceiling in the dark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu-ihs4BkAs
Q: Okay, just so you know, I actually clicked on that link and it quite literally blew my mind. It was also a bit creepy — I hope you weren’t alone in the old movie theater. Speaking of music, though, if you had to pick one song to be the theme song of your life, what would that be?
A: There are way too many to choose from. I could easily listen to Manuel Gottsching’s hour-long album E2-E4 for years as it noodles its way through guitars, primitive synthesizers and trance-inducing instrumentals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUiA0UOKIlc
Lately though, I’ve been getting really into the minimal wave genre and the PC Music label from the UK which puts out songs that feel like riding down a loopy bubblegum waterslide into a ringtone: https://soundcloud.com/pcmus/sets/top-40
Q: Riding a loopy bubblegum waterslide, you say? I’m gonna have to try that. Think I can find a loopy bubblegum waterslide in the app store? Probably not. But you know what you could find there … actual phone apps. What is your favorite and how does it make your life better?
A: Yo. I can pester my friends without having to think of anything to say. http://www.justyo.co/
Q: Well, in that case, remind me to never add you on Yo. Just kidding. But one condition: you can only “yo” me when you want to watch a horribly great sci-fi movie. What’s the best one?
A: Mac and Me. It’s a totally ham-fisted ripoff of E.T. which plays out like a feature-length TV commercial. Everybody drinks Coca-Cola, the aliens only eat Skittles (they had passed up product placement in E.T. then it was given to Reese’s Pieces and the movie was a huge success), there’s a 5-minute choreographed dance-off in a McDonald’s…and there’s this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEC_lkpD3rM
Honorable mention goes to Liquid Sky which has the craziest set of genre tags on all of IMdB and was fashion inspiration for decades to come.
Q: That YouTube clip … wow. Great suggestion. We’ll all have to check out Liquid Sky, too, for fashion inspiration in the office. And on the same fashion note, I don’t know about you, but I have to say Tommy Wiseau has it down to a science. The world needs to know, though, where is he from?
A: Tommy Wiseau might have grown up in a foreign country, but spiritually he’s all American. He’s got so much ambition for the Hollywood dream of becoming a star that you can’t help but smile as he bumbles through it.
Q: What a story, Zach. We all love Tommy. Almost as much as we love working at Magoosh! What’s your favorite part about working here?
A: Playing Bananagrams with the wordiest people I’ve ever met.