Sunday, April 1, 2007

About me

As you have probably guessed from the tag line, Steve Jobs is one of my greatest inspirations. ;-)

I was one of the luckiest few Shanghai kid, who got to spend my 17th birthday as a high school exchange student in Kissimmee, Florida with my foreign host family. My American high school, Osceola High School, had the finest football team in the entire Florida, and tons of funny stories from me, the 6’2” skinny teen ‘Borat’ from China.

After trying out Mechanical Polymer Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, I finally settled with Computer Science, as I found it teaching me the things that I am mostly interested in. While enduring the coldest winters of my life in (Akron, Ohio), where I finished my Bachelors in University of Akron, I drove across the country three times exploring my dream place – Silicon Valley.

Being an evangelist of web and the technologies around it, I shortly started my career as a software engineer in Bay Area. I found my first real job after college in Manhattan Associates through one of my former mentors I worked for. While I was there, I helped the R&D of the company wide next generation user interface framework with the architect. Then, I got into Visa, where I worked on the then "next generation" credit card message gateway as a system engineer, and developed a multiple products build and release automation process and tools.

After a brief period of (now Fanbox) as a member of their infrastructure and performance team in San Diego, I came back to Bay Area for a great internet security company Qualys Inc, where I became one of the core developers of QualysGard. While working along side with the security veterans, I became more involved with enterprise UI and cross browser support for our award winning On Demand Vulnerability Management System.

I became a Yahoo! several months before the summer Olympics of 2008, and has been a member of the Yahoo Frontpage group ever since. There, I learned and relearned a whole bunch of things that I thought I learned well before. Never knew that aggregation of the even smallest mistakes, tinyist performance enhancement could make such a big difference. I am so grateful that my team as well as the teams I worked with have taught me so much about the web, and I was given lots of opportunities to work on so many parts of the product. It has truly been an eye opening experience on how one of the most visited pages was made. At the same time, I found out how important data is, and fell in love with it.

My interest in data soon got me into Netflix. As a member of the subscriber acquisition team, we helped optimizing their customer conversion from various marketing channels. I would have to say that Netflix has one of the best marketing teams in the world, and one of the best user funnel management systems ever.

I am currently working for a startup called Outright, where I actually got to design and build their entire data stack. We are trying to make accounting and tax preparation painless for all of the small businesses around the country.

I usually like to keep my brains busy, or having them entertained by the web feeds. Whenever I get a break, I love playing volley ball, soccer, basket ball, and now foosball and table tennis ;-)

Oh, the last but not the least, my latest contributions to open source communities can be found on the right side of this page, or in my linkedin profile.

Thanks for reading!

You can always reach me at lei [dot] sun [at] gmail [dot] com.

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