Profile: Rishi Kothari

I'm a 16-year-old software developer & startup engineer that's been coding for 7.6 years with 2.5 years of professional experience.

Right now, I'm in Toronto, Canada and listening to The Weeknd.

I'm looking for my next challenge—if you're working on a tough idea in DeFi, Web3 or deep tech, give me a shout at!


Here's a selection of some of my favourite writings:



Here's a (massively abbreviated) list of things I've built over the years:

Project: HN

HN is a minimal virtual currency, designed for the Hack Club community.

Originally a Postgres-backed GraphQL API, it's now evolved into an Ethereum-compatible PoS-based blockchain implementation, with a GraphQL frontend written in Golang.

Hundreds of hackers and dozens of apps ranging from joke AI machines to casino have been built on top of the platform, and I look forward to its growth in the future.


Right now, I work at PetCode, helping to create the future of pet ownership for hundreds of thousands across the US, build machine learning tools for millions of customers at BentoML, scale the world's largest community of high school hackers at Hack Club, run workshops and events for thousands at collegiate hackathons and tech conferences worldwide, and a bunch of other things that I can't put into one modal.

Project: Idyllic

Idyllic is a programming language for writing performant web services.

It performs up to 2.5x better than an equivalent Express app on average, using 1.5x less boilerplate in example benchmarks, and ships with a CLI and two compiler components. Idyllic also hit the front page of r/ProgrammingLanguages on launch!

Project: Exercism

Exercism is one of the world's largest CS Education platforms, with hundreds of thousands of users.

I helped lead JavaScript curriculum and infrastructure development in my freshman year of high school, focusing on writing internal tools for the third iteration of our platform. Exercism gained popularity for its unique spin on CS theory, bringing scalable mentorship and problem-first packages to the masses.

Project: Legist

Legist is a web platform that allows users to digest government policy efficiently.

Legist uses near-shot categorization to sort articles and papers, BERT to identify entities in text and create a public data graph from government sources, and summarization using DistilBART, all served on top of BentoML.

Dear visitor,

Hello there. It's so nice to finally meet you. I'm sorry to hear that. That's great—I'm so happy for you!

It's a fast moving world out there.

Have you ever wondered what it'd be like to slow down?
To take a breather?

Me, too. In tech, it's too easy to get bogged down with speed.
Constant iteration, Lighthouse results, Jira stats: why?

What happened to storytelling?
What happened to the ideas behind the façade?

This website isn't a duct-taped resumé.
It's a world to discover.

Like the world we live in, there is often more than meets the eye.
Welcome to my strange home.

Welcome to rishi [dot] cx.

I'm Rishi. 8 years ago, I awoke in a strange new world: I learned how to code.

Web development in 2013 was a field fraught with difficulty—documentation was almost nonexistent, GitHub had barely gained traction, and AngularJS was seen as the pinnacle of DX.

Programming was seen as a niche field; one where the default experience was working in Big Tech, with no external supports or interest from young people—it was isolating, to say the least.

In 2018, all that changed: years after starting to code, I finally found a community of people like me at Hack the North. Hackathons fundamentally changed how I thought about programming—it's not just a research field or a hobby, it's a superpower.

Not long after that, I scored my first internship at a mid-stage startup, won an incubation summit, and got launched into the hackerverse.

Today, I work on the tools and communities that I wish I had when I was starting out all those years ago.

I things, lead teams, and think about the future.

I'm a software engineer—and hacker at heart—because I believe that careful creation can lead to exponential ideation.

I write code so that the next generation of makers can do it even better: transforming human capital into computational & social capital is the throughline for all my experiences: I'm especially proud of my work with HN, Idyllic, Exercism, and Legist. You can find the complete list of my projects over at my GitHub.

You can find me at @rishiosaur on the rest of the Internet. I'm most active on Twitter and GitHub.

You can find my digital garden at, where I write about music, exponential tech, startups, and the future that I'm building with friends across the world.

I'm always open to chatting about new ideas—find my calendly at