Interiewing Mr. David Aronson: TEC

Maya Puterman: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Where are you originally from?

Mr. David Aronson: I was born in Philadelphia, but I grew up in Michigan, outside of Detroit, in a city called Southfield. I went to the University of California in San Diego for two years and later moved to Boston. While living in Boston, I took a class at Boston College and was later accepted into Emerson College, where I graduated with a bachelor’s in fine arts and acting. I later came to New York City, played minor roles on cable TV shows, and became involved with some downtown theater companies.  


MP: What inspired you to learn how to code? 

DA:  While I was acting, to make a living, I was word processing at investment banks. I found that I would make more money by doing graphics and programming. I began pitching clients ideas that would interest me, and some would buy the rights to my designs. It became a good way to make a living and something that I got really interested in doing as well.


MP: Why did you decide to become a coding teacher?

DA: Years ago, I was helping my daughter, who was on her middle school’s debate team. They needed a parent to do judging during the debate tournaments, and I volunteered. I realized that I not only really enjoyed the experience but was also good at it. Coaches would come up to me after tournaments to tell me how good the feedback I gave was. That meant a lot to me. So I talked to a friend who was a teacher who directed me to a job application website. I applied to about five jobs, and one of the schools invited me for a sample lesson. The lesson went well, and they offered me a job teaching in Queens at the Kew-Forest School.


MP: What are some of your favorite programming projects you have worked on in the past?

DA: I have made interactive sculptures using old monitors. I covered the monitors with fake grass and programmed eyes to display across the monitor’s screen, which would follow people around. I brought the sculptures to art fairs.

Another project I had a lot of fun with was a traffic light installation on Governors Island. I used radar and solar panels to invite people to play a game of Red Light, Green Light. If someone was moving at a red light, it would start honking.


MP: What programming languages do you know? Which is your favorite?

DA: The first language I learned was ActionScript for Flash. Then I learned Python, Java Script, HTML, CSS, C,  and C++. I think that C++ is the most elegant.


MP: What did you do before coming to Ramaz?

DA: Before coming to ramaz, I was teaching at the Kew-Forest School. I taught computer science to middle and high school for five years, and during the pandemic, I taught drama as well because they couldn’t find a drama teacher.


MP: Why did you decide to work at Ramaz?

DA: I chose to work at Ramaz because it has a vibrant community. They also provide me with abundant resources to use in my teaching. When I taught a model lesson at Ramaz, I had a great time and wanted to come and work here.


MP: What is one fun fact about you?

DA: I like archery.