Meet the new guys.

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Last Friday after lunch, Allan announced that a new guy would be starting this week. “You’ll probably notice him,” he said. “He’s tall and he looks kind of like… what’s his name… the actor…”

“Nicolas Cage,” someone said.

“Does he sound like Nicolas Cage?” asked Ryan.

“I don’t know, what does Nicolas Cage sound like?”

“He talks…like this,” wheezed Ryan, doing some kind of Native American Brando.

“No,” retorted Dave, “he talks…more like this,” sounding like Barney Rubble whispering through a kazoo.

But it turns out the new guy doesn’t sound anything like Nicolas Cage. For one thing, he’s Australian. His name is Scott Warren, he’s from Brisbane, and his job title is Agile Story Supervisor.

Okay, I just made that up. I’m not sure if Scott really has a job title – most of us don’t – but he’ll be working with the various scrum teams to oversee tasks (in Agile-speak, these are known as “stories”) from conception through to implementation. He’ll be involved in everything from planning to designing to testing new features.

When I helped Allan write the job description, I was skeptical that we’d find someone in Saskatoon (population 250,000) with such a solid background in Agile development processes. Scott spent three years working as an Agile test analyst with Wotif.com, Australia’s biggest online hotel booking website, before coming to Canada earlier this year. When he saw our help wanted ad, he says, he knew it was meant to be.

Our other recent hire is Liz Syrnick, whom we originally brought on a few weeks ago to help with that rotoscoped animation we made for MySaskDeals. Liz drew almost half the frames herself, then performed much of the tedious clean-up work in Flash, allowing us to wrap the whole project in record time.

Ultimately Liz wants to get into cartooning, but in the meantime she doesn’t mind doing office work, so we’re keeping her around part-time to do some of the tedious administrative stuff that Tiffany has been stuck with for the last few months. This will free up Tiffany to spend more time on marketing, which will free me up to play Must Pop Words all afternoon. Everyone wins!

Attentive followers of the VendAsta scene (I know you’re out there) will recognize Liz as the keyboard player in Chris’s rock-n-roll band Sexy Mathematics. And of course Scott, like all patriotic Australians, plays the didgeridoo. We’re already putting pressure on both of them to try out for the VendAsta marching band.