First attended Duke University where he was a part of Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, Duke Smart Home, ACM, and IEEE. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science in 2010.
Early in his career, First was a Software Development Engineer Intern at Microsoft and Software Engineer at Google. In August 2012, First founded Leanplum which creates solutions for mobile marketing. The company's clients include Tinder and Lyft and raised $46 million from investors such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Shasta Ventures and Canaan Partners.