The Hero, the Young Gun, and the Polyglot (a welcome)

It is time to welcome three new members to the Relevance team. With this new batch, we welcome two international travelers (from the Great White North and the Island of the Sun) and one local product to the team. All will be located here in beautiful, sunny Durham, and needless to say, we're thrilled to have them aboard.

With that, let me introduce (drumroll please):

Ryan Neufeld

Ryan Neufeld is an aspiring young software craftsman hailing from the bitter cold Canadian province of Manitoba. After half a year of foraging spare bits of Internet for pairing beyond the wall, Ryan has finally packed up his family and relocated to Durham.

Ryan is quite the young gun, having already worked at a number of startups and established companies at a senior level, all before reaching the ripe-old age of twenty-five. Having peeked behind the curtain of Ruby and Rails magic, Ryan's next mission is to take on Clojure and Datomic.

Daemian Mack

Daemian has been fascinated with computing since he got his first machine, a Timex Sinclair 1000, at the age of 7. Soon after he acquired a Commodore 64, discovered BBSes, and was forever hooked. He stumbled upon Ruby around 2007, and in the time since, Ruby and he have created tools for MLB operations teams, powered web communities and helped extend "publishing" (i.e. advertising) systems. He has also enjoyed occasional forays into building enterprise cloud platforms with Python.

Over the last year he's gotten to spend some quality time tinkering with Clojure, and hopes to spend much more.

When he's not coding, he's probably fiddling with emacs, discovering the joys of homeownership, enjoying his children, adding habañeros to things (not children), or buying books faster than he can possibly read them.

Yoko Harada

Yoko was named Ruby Hero 2012 because of her dedicated contribution to open source projects. She wrote a Java API for JRuby to connect Ruby and Java or JVM languages. The API was written during her son’s ski practice at a coffee shop nearby the ski area. She likes to mix multiple JVM languages using her API; for example, Ruby and Clojure, which ended up in her awesome landing at Relevance. Also, Yoko built and has maintained the pure Java implementation of Nokogiri, an XML API for Ruby. She likes XML processing since she worked for a Japanese government-sponsored XML project. At that time, she was deeply impressed by one of the project members, who, still now, keeps working very hard for standardizations of XML specifications internationally. From him, she learned that English is a must-have tool for communication. Now, Yoko is practicing the pronunciation of the word, “Relevance,” which is incredibly difficult for Japanese people. Yoko has organized Rails Girls Tokyo, the first chapter in Japan. In Yoko’s mind, Rails Girls Durham is next.

Huzzah!