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Tech Talk

Learn Recursion from 'The Good Place'

Dec. 19, 2017

It's no surprise that NBC's 'The Good Place' was just renewed for it's third season; Kristen
Bell is so forkin' funny and this whole "Good Place/ Bad Place" twist needs some further explanation. But we're not here to talk theories or spoilers, rather, we're looking at the shows major plot line and translating it into code, specifically a process known as 'recursion'.

Recursion is a computer science method used in many programming languages, in which a function can call itself.

While her blog post does have spoilers- Carol Scott breaks this down step by step for you in her piece, "How 'The Good Place' Is A Great Example of Recursion." We'll do a quick synopsis below, but you really should check out the full version on her blog!

There are many times in the show where Michael (Ted Danson), the Head Demon, chooses to 'reboot' The Good Place after something "bad" happens, hoping to wipe the many characters' memories.

When translated to JavaScript, a function is written so whenever The Good Place is called to be rebooted, each characters knowledge/deduction capacity multiplies together, and then the entire function reboots itself once again.

This process would continue in perfect harmony for eternity, however, everyone's favorite character, Janet (D'Arcy Carden) changes things.

Every time Janet is rebooted, she becomes more intuitive, unlike the other characters who maintain the same knowledge/ deduction capacity, which means Janet serves as a multiplier for the other characters.

This means, no matter how many times the other characters are rebooted, each new reboot produces a new Janet. (In computer science terms, you would say Janet is what makes the recursive change its state.)

(Janet + 1)

(Janet + 1)+1

I know we're all dying to see how how this function show ends - but we'll have to wait until January to find out!

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Virtual Tech Talk with Women Engineering Leaders at DigitalOcean

Want to join this webinar and learn more? Email us at hi@powertofly.com to be considered for an invite.

PowerToFly is thrilled to partner with DigitalOcean (a dynamic, fast-growing startup that serves a robust and passionate community of developers, teams, and businesses around the world) to present a virtual tech talk and audience Q&A with several of their women tech leaders.

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, May 7th at 1:00pm EST / 10:00am PST.

After the tech talk, PowerToFly Cofounder and President Katharine Zaleski will lead a brief panel discussion with several of DigitalOcean's women engineering leaders, discussing their career journeys, current projects, and what it's like working for a mostly remote company.


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Although you don't need to be looking for new job opportunities to attend the webinar, DigitalOcean does have a number of open remote roles. In fact, about 70% of DigitalOcean's engineering team works remotely! Their competitive benefits include monthly gym reimbursements, monthly commute allowances, and a 401k with up to a 4% employer match. To learn more about DigitalOcean's open roles, visit their page on PowerToFly.

About our webinars: All RSVP'd attendees are welcome, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, or age.

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