This one is a particularly fond trip down memory lane

Originally published at on April 7, 2016.

Three weeks ago, I was comparing startup stories with a friend of mine, and we realized our respective companies were missing quite possibly the most stereotypical icon of startup “culture”: the ping pong table. At that point, I felt obligated to point out that, at Pathgather, we’d moved beyond ping pong and had taken to playing Super Smash Bros (the N64 version) at the end of every week — after spending the afternoon learning whatever we felt like learning(a Pathgather cultural tradition), of course. …

Photo by Joshua Aragon on Unsplash

Getting beyond the “mutation brick wall”

Originally published at on January 8, 2016. Since publication, the Relay mutations API has changed *significantly*, so the specific recommendations here aren’t as relevant as they were in 2016, but hopefully you’ll still find some of this interesting!


When I first got started using Relay a month or two ago, everything seemed easy. I was writing GraphQL fragments in my components, composing queries together using containers, and, since everything was being cached in the Relay store, I was browsing around the application crazy fast. It seemed like magic.

Then I started experimenting with mutations and hit a brick wall…

Originally published at on December 10, 2015, long before I joined Degreed!

What Is Enterprise Learning For?

To an outsider, it should seem obvious: to help employees learn at work. But in practice, most enterprise learning programs probably do more harm than good when it comes to inspiring learning. Outdated course materials, mandatory classroom sessions, and restricted access to materials… sounds a lot like the problems with the American public school system that Seth Godin highlights in his legendary TED Talk, Stop Stealing Dreams:

Seth Godin asks “What Is School For?” at TEDxYouth 2012

The problems Seth identifies with public education are depressingly similar…

Originally published at on March 29, 2014.

I’ve been doing a fair bit of business travel lately which has inadvertently led to me doing more reading. One of the books I picked up was Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. As a long time Ruby on Rails enthusiast and frequent listener of This Week In Startups, I’ve followed DHH for some time and have always enjoyed his particular take on things.

The book itself is poignant, unique, and a little bit arrogant (of course). It’s a collection of essays on a variety of topics and is fairly…

Originally published at on November 22, 2013.

In his recent article HackerNest builds tech communities, one beer at a time, Anthony Reinhart mentioned that HackerNest events “…enable the kind of messy, spontaneous relationship-building that underpins great startup communities”. I couldn’t agree more; informal meetups play an important role in building a supportive tech community, but it’s hard to describe exactly why. So, what makes events like HackerNest successful? How are supportive tech communities really put together “at ground level”? I’ve been helping organize events since about 2012 and there’s a couple things we’ve found out along the way.

HackerNestKW November 2013 Tech Social at Vidyard


Neville Samuell

VP Engineering @ethyca , formerly VPE @Degreed & CTO @Pathgather . Dangerously fast learner and startup entrepreneur who loves NYC 😁

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