Dylan Diamond Does F8

“On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog” — that’s the classic New Yorker cartoon, showing 2 canines at a computer.

No one knows you’re a high school junior, either.

Not that anyone should care. Staples’ Dylan Diamond designs user-friendly apps that fill folks’ needs.

Dylan Diamond, at San Francisco's Fort Mason earlier this month.

Dylan Diamond, at San Francisco’s Fort Mason earlier this month.

His myHAC allows students and parents nationwide easy access to school schedules and grades. It’s been downloaded 85,000 times.

Ski With Friends helps skiers find buddies on the slope.

His current project, Saround — with fellow Westporter Adam Goldberg — lets users book anything from babysitters and yardwork to concert tickets, by priority.

Next up: an app to expedite food purchases in school cafeterias.

So it’s no surprise that Dylan snagged a coveted invitation to Facebook’s F8 conference this month.

Or that Facebook covered the entire $800 registration fee too.

Dylan Diamond, with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Dylan Diamond, with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

The hands-on, collaborative event — held at San Francisco’s Fort Mason — is huge. It draws developers and entrepreneurs from around the globe. Facebook engineers interact with attendees. They share ideas, teach each other, and return to their offices (or schools) ready for the Next Big Thing.

Dylan made the most of his time. He saw Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, standing on the conference floor. Dylan walked up, introduced himself, and told her about his apps.

Dylan also hung with Mike Schroepfer, the CTO. He sat next to the CEO of Oculus Rift, the biggest name in virtual reality.

Dylan and those heavy hitters talked about Facebook’s new Messenger bot — unveiled at F8 — as well as analytics.

He got advice on startups. Attendees examined his code, and answered his questions about how to do more, be more efficient, and design better tools.

Dylan Diamond was up close for Mark Zuckerberg's keynote address.

Dylan Diamond was up close for Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote address.

Mark Zuckerberg was there too, of course. His keynote address was one highlight. Even better: His announcement that everyone at F8 would received a free Oculus headset.

(Dylan used it on the plane ride home. His fellow travelers were quite impressed.)

There were a couple dozen high school students at F8, like Dylan. They become good friends. After the conference, he and 2 others drove to Cupertino, to check out Uber and Apple headquarters.

“Everyone there was super-passionate,” Dylan says. “They really opened  my eyes to new ideas.”

Dylan does more than develop apps, of course. He handles the school paper Inklings’ website. He’s also on the ski and cross country team.

That last activity came in handy at F8. A  long line of attendees waited to get into the building to hear Zuckerberg.

Dylan outraced the others, and had one of the best seats in the house.

Dylan Diamond's VR selfie.

Dylan Diamond’s VR selfie.

8 responses to “Dylan Diamond Does F8

  1. Marcia Wright

    I still remember when my parents had a chat about whether to purchase a camera or a TV. They selected the camera. The TV came into our home the following year. My friends worked as operators in the telephone company. We had phone numbers like 595 and 2056 and just plain 8. There were party lines–one ring for the Smiths; two rings together for the Joneses–and (gasp!) outhouses.
    Dylan sounds like an exceptional, passionate, and intelligent person. And, times have certainly changed.
    But, there was something absolutely mesmerizing about that ABC peacock that graced the TV screen when the station went off the air at midnight.
    It was also a kinder, gentler time.

  2. Bonnie Scott Connolly

    Oh to be young and brilliant.

  3. Adam goldberg

    Congrats on a great story Dylan. The app that Dylan and I created “Saround” can be found in the IOS App Store. It’s a personal booking engine that allows you to create your own on demand network for anything.

  4. Follow Dylan for the next ten years. He will be the new Zuckerberg. We will all be talking about him for years to come.

    • John, just curious: is Dylan perhaps the type of kid who might be better off skipping college and heading straight into the workplace?

  5. Bobbie Herman

    The talent that comes out of Westport never fails to amaze me.

  6. Fred, that is a decision only Dylan can make. I met him as a freshman when he came to me with an idea for an app that would be helpful to students at SHS. I did what I could to help him get it approved. As I got to know him, I realized that not only is he a genius at programming, but he respects and loves learning. It would be a very difficult decision for him to postpone or abandon altogether the experience of being on a college campus learning not only from professors but from equally talented peers. It will be interesting to see what he does. All I can say is that he is a remarkable young man and I am grateful that I was at SHS to watch him grow. I’ll be one of those people who, at a party where people are talking about reading an article about his accomplishments, will say: “I knew that young man.”