James An began his foray into web development in May 2008, with the development of OpenMynds.com, released in the subsequent month. His web development work has often focused on non-profit organizations and community groups. (Writing about yourself in third-person seems a bit odd, but I suppose that’s how autobios are written. Anyway, onward!)
His life took an amazing twist in 2005 when he was awarded the National Scholarship from the University of Toronto, a full scholarship to the university with choice of study (which became EngSci and then EngSci’s Computer Option). As a recognition of both his community work and achievements in a broad context, the scholarship has since given James the unique opportunities to fully explore his interests through the university’s campus community in groups like AIESEC, CESA, LGBTOUT, SME, UTERN, UTCA, and UTSU. (Don’t them groups love those acronyms!)
James’ professional experience has been limited to financial companies, first with BMO Nesbitt Burns as a summer programmer and then with Mapleridge Capital Corp. as a 16-month intern in their quantitative research group. Professionally, he doesn’t have a dream job. Rather, his aspiration is to explore the diversity of work and learn through experience - to have his work reflect his interests and skills, so that work is play is fun.
When he manages to pry his hands from the keyboard, James explores his long-standing interest in organizations, particularly non-profits. He’s now serving his 4th year as a board member at the Ralph Thornton Centre.
He used to be an avid swimming, still enjoys a good swim, and is hoping to get back into the routine. He was a pool lifeguard for the City of Toronto and the Toronto Community Housing briefly, as well as an aquatic instructor. Piano playing is a pasttime that has yet to be converted into some form of “work”. He’s classically trained and doesn’t play as much as he used to, but - on occasion - he lugs his Grade 10 RCM books with him and whatever other sheet music that catches his fancy. He even used to be a band nerd back in high school as both a flutist and piccoloist! Once upon a time, James held a black belt in Shotokan, but the art has since left his body and now resides in a rarely visited part of his mind.
The usability aspect of James’ mind is already signaling that this page is too long. If you’re still reading, why not contact James?