Sam Ritchie ’09
Sam Ritchie ’09
COURTESY SAM RITCHIE ’09

Software engineer for Twitter in San Francisco. Princeton major: mechanical and aerospace engineering. 

What he does: Ritchie is part of a team at Twitter that is developing a tool — Twitter web analytics — that will allow users to find out details about the kind of person who is reading their tweets, the response people had to the tweets, and how to reach particular types of people. He spends his days “figuring out how to pull out exactly the tweets you want from the trillions of tweets that are out there.”

What he likes about it: “I’m not working on anything now that someone told me to do that I didn’t understand the reason for, but had to do anyway,” says Ritchie, who had been writing code for a deforestation monitoring system when a software startup offered him a job, just as the company was being bought by Twitter.

Most challenging: “It’s easy to get yourself going down a hole [working on] interesting, exciting technical problems that you want to be clean and beautiful ... but maybe it’s more useful to put something that’s 80 percent ­finished out next week versus taking four months.”