“The University fundamentally changed my core perspectives and ways of thinking. The seeded changes have had a lasting impact on how I navigate my career choices.”
Xin (Schien) Dong was engaged in programming in China beginning at the age of 12. In 2001, he moved to Canada with his parents to attend his last year of high school at Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto. He was persuaded to attend UWaterloo by returning students who extolled UW’s virtues.
Schien served his first co-op term in Waterloo’s Office of Research. He happened to share space with Innovate Inc. and found himself developing a useful web-based application for the campus startup. To consummate a mutual use agreement with them, he registered his business Antradar Software in 2003. With a product in hand, Schien decided to serve his second co-op work term in the Enterprise Co-op Program.
A third co-op was served in the Registrar’s Office where he developed software that could have streamlined the processing of student transcripts. But he could not match the existing vendor’s broad service and support. “They asked, ‘Why would we use your product?’ I know how to answer that question now.”
Post-graduation in ’07, Schien took a job in Boston with a database company called Endeca (later purchased by Oracle). But with the recession of 2008, Schien returned to Canada to work for a company that provided the infrastructure for online advertising. He enhanced their processing of millions of clicks and conversions, making their system faster and more robust.
In 2011, Schien became convinced “the focus of innovation had shifted from enabling machines to enabling developers.” To him, this created an opportunity to perfect the underlying, fundamental architecture and he struck out on his own to pursue it. Working for himself, Schien began to achieve better performance through breakthroughs in network and memory optimization. The result is his own architecture, LCHH, and a platform called Gyroscope, which he uses to power his customers’ websites. With a growing client list, he has expanded the Gyroscope ecosystem to include all devices and recently incorporated voice-activation. He has written a book titled, There is no AJAX: The Art of Blending DHTML, PHP and MySQL, in which he details how his approach to coding has created “a living and breathing infrastructure.”