Hello!

I’m a software engineer and tech entrepreneur living in New York. In my spare time I like to contribute to open source software and tech blogs.

I’m excited by opportunities that let me develop elegant solutions for obvious problems where there are no obvious solutions. I believe in automating wherever possible, and leveraging existing technology to quickly bootstrap solutions. My mantra is trial and error, which I apply to both building a startup as well as living a fulfilling life.

Here are some details about me:

Work Experience

See My Resume for my skills and experience or see below for a summary of my employment history.

OkCupid

Senior Software Engineer - Web
Oct 2020 - current
  • Engineering Excellence
    • Lead engineer responsible for the API and frontend migration to a new location service.
  • Impact
    • Create design system and UI Components Library with built-in accessibility and common eslint config (coming soon).
    • Improve frontend codebase maintainability by fixing the sourcemap, unit testing, and CSS modules (coming soon).
    • Migration of GraphQL and React codebases to TypeScript.
  • Leadership and Initiatives
    • Implemented automation to improve code quality: SonarQube in CI/CD pipeline (coming soon), PR template (in-progress).
  • People
    • Host meetup at the office (coming soon).

Smartling

Team Lead
Dec 2019 - Oct 2021
Senior Frontend Engineer
Dec 2018 - Dec 2020
  • Engineering Excellence
    • Lead engineer for a browser-based editor tool (CAT tool) for professional translators, which has high performance and complex backend+library integrations requirements.
    • Developed solutions for unifying dashboards via GraphQL middle-tier (70K lines of code eliminated). Worked on both the GraphQL API and the Apollo Client.
    • Created a new product (Dynamic Workflows) and open sourced a React library react-process-flowchart that I built for this product.
    • Developed reusable components following a design system which is used across the platform at Smartling in multiple codebases.
  • Impact
    • Successfully completed a rewrite of a core feature in a major production codebase (CAT Tool) to reduce technical complexity in the implementation, remove duplicate code, and improve performance and maintainability. Mitigated risks of this refactoring effort by breaking down and prioritizing the work and implementing thorough unit testing and acceptance testing with every deployment.
    • Lead TypeScript migration of major production codebases.
    • Streamlined process for bug and support ticket triage. Created Bug Triage Guide and worked with Product Manager to create internal documentation for answering and prioritizing support tickets.
  • Leadership and Initiatives
    • Implemented automation to improve code quality: SonarQube in CI/CD pipeline, PR template, style guide and best practice, weekly knowledge sharing meetings).
    • Created systems for developer knowledge sharing: style guide and best practice docs, onboarding documents for new engineers, weekly knowledge sharing meetings with the team.
  • People
    • Mentored and provided periodic training to junior engineer and non-developers and at the company.
    • Hosted a React meetup at Smartling in collaboration with Women Who Code
    • Created process/standards for and participated in new engineer interviews.

LooseLeaf

Startup Founder
Jun 2015 - Jun 2020
  • Product Development
    • Developing an isomorphic/universal web app incorporating both server and client side rendering capability using full-stack JavaScript (Node, Express, and React).
    • Using git/Github for version control and documentation.
    • Leveraging Heroku and Github free hosting for development web apps.
    • Leveraging frontend build tools (e.g., Webpack HMR, React Hot Loader) to maximize speed and effectiveness of development.
    • Designing the isomorphic web app and development environment to enable front-end and backend for the isomorphic web app to be developed and tested independently.
    • Deployment of Production Website via AWS S3 and EC2
    • Developing REST and GraphQL APIs.
    • Using git/Github for version control and documentation.
  • Marketing and Design
    • Prototyped SPAs to present at two startup conferences TechDays in DC and Los Angeles) for user research and feedback to revise product design.
    • Created marketing material such as banners and flyers for startup events using vector graphics and Adobe Illustrator.
  • Read more about what I’ve done for this project.

NumberShapes

Co-Founder
Jun 2014 - Mar 2015
  • Product Development

    • Created iOS apps (100K+ downloads) for a gamified early math education experience. These are the first mobile apps for NumberShapes that teaches little kids essential math skills and number sense. Read more about what I did at NumberShapes.
    • Created a single page application website using Node.js, Express, and AngularJS
  • Entrepreneurship

    • Presented NumberShapes at TechDay NY with Co-Founder
    • Advised the development of mobile apps and business plan by Co-founder subsequent to my departure as a Co-Founder for NumberShapes
Product Manager, Nuclear Engineer
Jan 2014 - Dec 2018
  • Led the design, development, testing, and deployment of software building blocks to support diverse systems integrations.
  • Developed software functional requirements to user specification and effectively communicated software design to non-technical stakeholders and users.
  • Spearheaded transition of legacy version control and build tools to modern enterprise and open source solutions.
  • Oversaw major effort to refactor legacy code to enable automated unit testing.
  • Side Project: Created a server-less web app for knowledge management on the Intranet using React and D3.
  • Facilitated collaboration between engineering teams and engaged customers throughout the iterative development process for new products to close expectation gaps and identify areas of improvements.
  • Worked with developers and customers to identify low- or non-value added work for termination or automation.
  • Side Project: Created, popularized, and maintained a knowledge repository for the company’s Intranet and an user friendly interface for the knowledge repository.

Education

  • I studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • I got a B.S. and a M.S in 4.5 years through an integrated bachelors and masters program.

Side Projects

  • Blogging: I enjoy technical writing, especially blogging about programming topics that I’m still learning. I enjoy the process of putting complicated things in simple terms, drawing analogies and illustrating the concept with clarifying examples. Best of all, I think trying to explain what you think you know could lead you to discover knowledge gaps, which motivates more learning.
  • New technology POC: I create example projects that illustrates the implementation of a new library or new problem solving approach. These examples are hosted at https://xiaoyunyang.com.

My Super Power

My super power is my extreme attention to details without losing sight of the big picture and I always challenge my assumptions and continuously critique everything I do to make adjustments as necessary. I recognize the importance of details in affecting the final outcome, as accumulation of small mistakes leads to failure. Being result-driven, I’m dedicated to working out these details even if they are not so glorious or interesting. My ability to prioritize helps me work strategically and smartly applying resources.

What I value

My KeyValues filters.

Xiaoyun's KeyValues Xiaoyun's KeyValues

Trivia

  • I have the honor of serving 5 years of active duty in the military at Naval Reactors. I commissioned in 2013 through the Navy Reserved Officer Training Corp (ROTC).
  • Here are some words that describe me: Love learning, independent, pragmatic, inquisitive, adaptable, good communicator, diligent, attention to detail.
  • I have a little dog called Ollie. He gives high-fives.
  • I’m an immigrant. I moved to the US from China in 2002. I became a citizen in 2003.
  • I’ve always lived in cities. The cities in which I’ve lived include Shanghai, New York, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC.
  • When I was a college student, I spent a summer abroad studying German at the Goethe Institut in Bonn, Germany. During my stay, I traveled and couchsurfed alone all over Germany and Western Europe. It was a transformative experience. I learned so much about myself and gained a lot of confidence based on my experience being out of my comfort zone.
  • I love traveling and enjoy couchsurfing. The best cities I’ve visited are Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Vienna, Edinburgh, Oslo, and Tokyo. All the countries I visited:

PS: If you are wondering how I built this website, I’m using Hugo for the static site generator engine and the beautiful tranquilpeak theme. I’m hosting it from github. I wrote a blog post about this.