Date a Geek: Nicole Nguyen of POPSUGAR Tech

Due to the controversial popularity of our How to Date a Geek Girl and How to Date a Geek Guy guides, we have introduced a special column featuring real life single geeks. This week, we have interviewed one of our favorite fellow geek girls – Nicole Nguyen of POPSUGAR Tech. 


Tell us a bit about yourself (Age, hometown, what you do for a living):

I was born and raised in eastside San Jose, CA. My home is now San Francisco, where I write about geek and gadgetry for POPSUGAR Tech and occasionally cohost a show called The Sync Up. I get to put new tech toys to use, play video games, drive new cars, meet amazing women working in STEM, and watch Sherlock/Doctor Who for my job (I know, I can’t believe it either). I’m a small human who, at the ripe age of 23, has finally realized that drinking milk will not make me grow any taller.

What makes you a geek?

Last year, Wil Wheaton made this remarkable speech to a tiny human in utero. It was the most articulate explanation I’ve heard of what a geek is, and validated a lot of reasons why I consider myself one. “It’s not about what you love. It’s about how you love it.”

I was a bookworm growing up. Books were a gateway drug to science fiction and epic fantasy. Writing was a gateway drug to Livejournal, then Angelfire, then Xanga, then WordPress, then my own domain. Along the way, I learned how the Internet works (WTF there’s a giant cable under the sea?!) and how to manipulate HTML and CSS. My dad is an engineer and took me to every Take Your Daughter to Work Day until I was probably too old. We would shuffle along to different activities, like going to labs where we’d learn how motherboards work, etc. These were my formative geek girl years.

Today, I love being a cheerleader for the apps and gadgets that make my life run. I can also talk hip hop and art history for days on end so . . . come at me, gangsta nerds.

Android, iOS, or other?

iOS. I have an iPhone and a MacBook Air, which makes me a slave to the Apple ecosystem. But I love using our team’s Moto X. The back button! Multitasking! The customization! I love that Android is a platform for tinkerers. Once the look of Google Now seeps into Android’s UI, I’ll switch.

I can also talk hip hop and art history for days on end so . . . come at me, gangsta nerds.

Your favorite comic book hero and why?

Professor X. He has a Gandalf-like ability to walk into any room and change its mood. X expects a lot of others (lookin’ at you, Wolverine), and most rise to the occasion because of those expectations. That character trait reminds me of all my favorite teachers and professors.

What gadget can’t you live without?

Besides my iPhone, I couldn’t live without my headphones. They make me feel invincible. They also make waiting for sluggish San Francisco buses a non-issue. I had a pair of Sennheiser HD 280s that recently died, and haven’t found a good replacement yet because I loved them so much. (please send me your recs!). I’m currently using Voxx 808 Duo headphones because they’re super reasonable and — most importantly — still comfortable with glasses on.

What is the last book or ebook that you read?

Telegraph Ave by Michael Chabon, which is a worthy read for the beautiful prose alone. It’s set in Oakland and Berkeley, so a fun book for anyone from the Bay Area (despite the fact that this book discusses the actual Telegraph Ave zero times). I really enjoyed the kung fu, comics, and music references sprinkled throughout.

If you could meet anyone (living or dead) for lunch who would it be and why?

Fictional? Hermione, because obviously. Non-fictional? Philip Guston, an artist who made really weird, fantastic paintings of giant amorphous eyeballs and piles of cigarettes. His drawings manage to be dark, morbid, and hilarious at the same time. He was such an open book in that his work was all about his vices, but there are so many mysterious characters in his paintings. I have so many questions for him: why was he so obsessed with pink and red late in his life? What’s with the pyramid people?

What do you look for in a guy? And does he need to be a geek too?

I’m attracted to guys with serious passion/intense hobbies. The kind that are burdened with glorious purpose, ya know? 😉 Loving to cook is a bonus. Loving live music is a huge bonus.

You can follow Nicole on Twitter @itsnicolenguyen.


  1. Can’t disagree with that! 🙂 Whoever would theoretically manage to land her would be hitting the jackpot, no doubt. Wowsers.