We have a long but too-often-neglected tradition of announcing new hires by putting their faces and bios on the blog. Some of our veterans might be annoyed - or grateful - that they never got the full biographical treatment when they started. It's not that these overlooked employees are less photogenic. It's just that we were busy with one thing or other and forgot to introduce them to our readership.
It's not too late to catch up. Visitors can browse all thirty-odd employees, read their bios, and be amused by their whiteboard photographs on the VendAsta team page.
(Incidentally, a word in recognition of Liz Syrnick's whiteboard drawings, which lately have grown so mesmerizingly ornate that longtime employees are begging her for a do-over. See John vs. kraken for a fine recent example.)
Andrew Scott was hired right out of school by our crosstown arch-rivals at zu.com, where he worked as a software engineer and project manager. While there he built a custom content management system called EasyUpdate that he describes as "still the best CMS I've ever had to work with."
A born competitor, Andrew plays hockey, is an alumnus of our provincial under-21 rugby team, and reigned as his high school’s eggnog-chugging champion for three years running. He has an amusing story about running into Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson at an unfashionable restaurant in Hawaii.
Yudi Xue grew up in Jinan, in China's Shandong province. When I asked him to recall how he first got hooked on computers, he traced the first stirrings of his technophilia back to the age of seven. After studying English in China, Yudi came to the University of Saskatchewan, where he met his Beijing-born wife, and finished his bachelor's degree in 2010. He's now closing in on his master's degree, specializing in human-computer interaction.
Yudi "loves anything related to data visualization". In 2011, as a participant in Google's Summer of Code project, he contributed to the development of the open-source visualization system Gephi.