About Me

My name is Joel Kemp. I’m a programmer and educator. Currently, I’m a software engineer at Spotify, working on the monetization team.

Formerly, I was a JavaScript Engineer on the Behance team at Adobe Systems, a full-stack engineer at YouNow, a CS Lecturer at NYU & CUNY, a Ph.D. student in CS, an intern at Codecademy, and a hackNY Fellow (2012).


I started programming during my undergraduate studies in Computer Science. Since then, I’ve tinkered with developing various systems: enterprise/bespoke software, computer games, web applications, Android applications, and research-related image processing solutions.

I get particularly excited with open-ended, challenging problems.


I absolutely love teaching and inspiring students and have been doing so long before my professional experience.

I believe that the best way to teach is to curate material for the layperson. As such, I’ve managed to successfully teach undergraduate students “complicated” areas of Computer Science such as: Artificial Intelligence, Computability Theory, Infinite Set Theory, and Computer Networking.

I taught Computer Science courses as an Adjunct Lecturer since 08/2008 at various colleges: New York University (NYU), the City College of New York, and Hunter College.


Aside from academic interests, I travel extensively (favorite place is tied between Hoi An, Vietnam and Paris, France) and eat any and everything – hoping to learn more about various cultures through food. I also enjoy rye whiskey and craft beer.

I occasionally write poetry.

Thanks for visiting and be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed to see any new works!



Ph.D. coursework, CUNY Graduate Center; Withdrawn in good standing, 09/2008 – 05/2013

M.S. Computer Science (enroute to the Ph.D.), The City College of New York, 05/2013

B.S. Computer Science and Minor in English, The City College of New York, Cum Laude, 09/2003 – 06/2008


Programming Experience

Software Engineer, Spotify, 06/2016 – Present

JavaScript Engineer, Bēhance team at Adobe Systems, 04/2014 – 04/2016

Software Engineer, YouNow, 10/2013 – 01/2014

Product Development Intern, Codecademy, 06/2013 – 08/2013


Teaching Experience

Founder, Mr. Joel Kemp’s Programming Lessons, 08/2012 – 08/2015

Python and Front-end web development mentor, Thinkful, 04/2014 – 09/2014

Adjunct Lecturer, New York University, 01/2012 – 05/2013

Adjunct Lecturer, Hunter College, 08/2009 – 02/2012

Adjunct Lecturer, The City College of New York, 08/2009 – 05/2011


Speaking Appearances

“Parallel Uglification” – FullStack Academy, 02/2016

“Navigating codebases using Static Analysis and Node.js” – NodeJS NYC Meetup, 07/2015

“Using Static Analysis to Give Build Tools a Brain” – FullStack Conference, 10/2014

“R.js: A Love Story” – NYCHTML5 Meetup, 10/2014

“Using Grunt to Auto-Generate Gruntfiles” – Powered by JavaScript Conference at Strangeloop, 09/2014

“Using Grunt to Auto-Generate Gruntfiles” – QueensJS Meetup, 08/2014

“Large-Scale JavaScript” – New York University, 05/2014



Featured Graduate Student in the Grove School of Engineering Annual Report, 2009

“The CUNY system is fantastic. I would love to be a professor here.”

Joel Kemp was a stellar student in the Grove School’s undergraduate computer science program, when his advisor, Dr. Jie Wei, inspired him to remain at CUNY for his doctorate. Joel’s area of interest is image indexing, and he is working on ways to search for images and videos through visual cues rather than key words. Of his first year in graduate school, he says, “The doctoral course work is incredibly challenging, especially the theoretical part. But, the program presents great opportunities. I will be taking a course at NYU, so being at CUNY allows me to take advantage of New York City’s educational resources.” And, Joel has found his vocation in teaching. As a lecturer in the lab sessions of Dr. Wei’s software engineering course, he reorganized the structure of the lab, resulting in the best attendance in the last four years and a significant increase in student productivity.

Featured Undergraduate Student in the Grove School of Engineering Annual Report, 2007

“City is full of people who want to learn and grow, and they make great friends.”

“When I find a course with real world applications,” says Joel Kemp, “I live that course.” Joel came to the Grove School looking for a discipline that would challenge him, and he found it in computer science. He has applied his expertise as he has acquired it, working as a PC technician and then as a software developer during the summers in Belize. “The Grove School has given me the technical know-how which I need for the workplace,” he says. As president of the Association of Computing Machinery chapter on campus, Joel has found an outlet for his gregarious nature and has developed his leadership skills while strengthening the organization through speakers, lectures from students, and workshops. “City,” he says, “is full of people who want to learn and grow, and they make great friends. If you are surrounded by people who are determined, you become determined yourself.”

Leave a Reply