Blog Posts tagged with: news

Aug 17 2010

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Welcome to more of our new teammates

Relevance is growing fast. A hale and hearty welcome to our four newest full-time teammates:

Stuart Sierra: Stuart Sierra is an actor/singer/writer/coder who lives in New York City, where he is a regular at both LispNYC and the downtown theatre scene. As technical lead of the Program on Law & Technology at Columbia Law School, he developed the groundbreaking legal search engine AltLaw.org. Stuart is the co-author of the book Practical Clojure. He received his M.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University and B.F.A. in Theatre from New York University.

Michael Parenteau: Artist, designer and maker of cool stuff, Michael has devoted most of his life to solving visual problems and exploring creative processes. During his explorations, he has travelled to 49 states leaving a trail of doodles and picking up fantastic stories. When he is not design-thinking or pushing pixels, he may be found with his wife and daughter living in the country... and dreaming of one day visiting Alaska.

Alex Warr: Alex graduated from Duke University with a Bachelors of Science in 2008 after dual-majoring in Psychology and History. He worked for two years as the Arts and Entertainment Managing Editor for The Chronicle, Inc., spent a year in London, UK as a paralegal for Clifford Chance LLP, and first joined the Relevance team as an Office Manager in January, 2010. A strong writer and organizer with a wide breadth of skills, Alex's real value lies in a positive mindset and the ability to enable friends and peers to maximize their potential. He works hard to facilitate both the work hard and play hard aspects of our culture, loves games of wit and skill, and believes the core objective in life is to be in a good mood when it ends.

Jon Distad: Jon has been programming in one form or another for most of his life. After moving from MS-DOS batch scripts to QBASIC and eventually to C++, he decided that there was no reason to know another language and wouldn't even consider using one that didn't compile to native code. Thankfully he was introduced to Scheme and Prolog in college and realized that there were far more interesting ways to write and think about code than he'd ever considered. He eventually learned Ruby and started doing Rails, but his infatuation with LISPs lingered. Now, through Clojure, he can satisfy his academic fascination while also serving a practical end. He is a happy developer. Jon graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2008 with a BA in both Philosophy and Computer Science. He hopes some day to be able to express the former via the latter and feels strongly that functional programming and homoiconic languages will help him get there.

This round of additions solidifies our design competencies, extends our Clojure team even more, and adds some much welcome organizational skill to our growing group. We are truly excited about adding such a great group.

Jul 19 2010

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Welcome to our new teammates

Its always a joy to extend a public welcome to our new team members. Today, I'd like to publicly introduce our three newest compadres:

Jared Pace: Jared came to us from Charlotte, NC where he worked for a startup. He dumped PHP for Ruby four years ago and hasn't looked back. Today he can be found shifting between front and backend development or working on the Ruby library PDFKit.

David Liebke: David is a developer and statistician, and the creator of Incanter, a Clojure-based data analysis and visualization environment. He has built systems in domains ranging from bioinformatics to intelligence analysis, and has a B.S. in cognitive science (UC San Diego), M.S. in applied mathematics and statistics (Georgetown), an M.B.A. (UC Irvine).

Alan Dipert: Alan comes from Rochester, NY, where he studied at RIT and cofounded Rochester's first hackerspace. He's passionate about the Web, Clojure, and is an active open source contributor and advocate.

We are very excited to be growing our team, and expanding the reach of our Clojure services as well. Welcome, guys!

Jul 18 2010

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Investing in Ourselves

When we founded Relevance in 2003, when it was just the two of us in Stu's garage, we established a rule that we would dedicate 20% of the "normal work week" to open source development. As the years have passed, and Relevance has grown (22 and growing!), the details of how we implement "20% time" and what we spend it on has undergone some gradual shifts, but the core principle remains: our team and our customers benefit when we spend that time on non-billable activities.

Our current version is that we spend our 20% time on Fridays. That means no client standups, no billable time, no deadlines to meet. But we don't just focus on open source (though that is still a major component). Team members can write or patch open source code, perform charitable work (through code or otherwise), focus on personal growth, work on long-term projects for company betterment, and contribute to the community.

Even though we've been doing this for 7 years now, we've been quite lax about collecting what we've done in one place. With that in mind, here's what we've done the past couple of weeks:

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