Tech entrepreneurs speak to students


Josh Glazer speaks to programming classes Credit: Tammer Bagdasarian ’20/SPECTRUM

Juliet Suess

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  • Alumni Josh Glazer, speaks to programming classes Credit: Tammer Bagdasarian ’20/SPECTRUM

  • Programming students wait patiently for speaker to begin lecture. Credit: Printed with permission of Jessica Kaufman

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By: Tammer Bagdasarian ’20

Students attended an in-person talk with Harvard-Westlake alumnus Joshua Glazer ‘96 during break on Dec. 9. Alumnus Scott Layne ‘05 also spoke to students on Dec. 15 during break. For 15 years, Glazer was the co-founder and head of the programming team at Naked Sky Entertainment, a Los Angeles based gaming company. At Naked Sky, he developed several award-winning games such as “Roboblitz,” “MaxAxe” and “Scrap Force.” Glazer now works as a software engineer at Riot Games, the company that created the game “League of Legends.”
During the talk, Glazer explained the process used to develop games and the game characters. Students also asked Glazer questions about his career, games he designs and how he became interested in game programming.
Henry Greenman ‘20 was at the talk and said that it was informative and helpful to learn about how playing games can lead to a career.
“I learned that an interest in games can be a positive thing and can lead to creativity which can be very helpful in life,” Greenman said.
Layne is a stock trader who uses math and computer programs to make financial decisions. He said that his job requires an advanced understanding of programming, since he works for a company that uses the programming language C++. He previously worked at Jane Street Capital, a New York based stock trading firm. Students asked Layne questions about his job and his experiences working in programming. Other former teachers of Layne were also in attendance.
During their years at the school, both Glazer and Layne took several programming courses. Layne said that the classes he took from programming teacher Jessica Kaufman helped motivate him to pursue a career in computer science. Kaufman said that she organizes the talks because she thinks they are useful and beneficial to students.
“I think that it’s really neat for the kids to see the future possibilities that are out there. The talks give great examples of what kids can become,” Kaufman said.