Welcome Shuhao Yang

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Shuhao joined Dyalog straight after he completed his Master’s degree in quantum computing, which happened to be during the second COVID-related lockdown in the UK. This has given him a quite unusual experience of starting a career as he has yet to meet a single member of the Dyalog team face to face! Shuhao obtained his Bachelor’s degree in mathematics – although he was interested in computer science, he studied mathematics as a way of looking for the root of CS and computing. He has broad interests across different software including Matlab, Python and LaTeX and has developed a solid knowledge on C++.

Shuhao enjoys the romantic theories in computer science and always wanted to work in one of the summit areas of CS – compilers, graphics and operating systems. He’s very happy that he now has the opportunity to work on the Dyalog APL interpreter.

Welcome Ron Murray

Ron flying in 2003

Ron Murray is a recent addition to the Dyalog team, with a long history in the APL community. He first encountered APL/360 in 1969 and was hooked. He used it as the basis for teaching Computer Science courses for the Hampton, Virginia High Schools. Then, working with other APL pioneers, he wrote several APL applications and contributed to five different APL implementations at The Computer Company, STSC, Burroughs, Data Resources, and Analogic Corporation.

From 1986 until 2019 he left the world of APL to develop software on Microcomputers for Microsoft and Amazon, where he contributed to various development projects for Windows, OS/2, NT, Visual Basic, Encarta, and a variety of projects within the Microsoft Research Division as well the Developer Relations Group. He also contributed to the scalability and reliability of the Amazon transaction accounting system and the Windows Azure Archival Storage System.

He also ran an Aviation business for several years at the Tacoma Narrows airport, and started an internet television company with three friends. Together they learned a lot about crawling the web using machine learning, categorizing videos by their subject matters and quality, as well as constructing interactive user interfaces on IOS devices.

During all that non-APL work he continued to use APL as a tool of thought for organizing, analyzing, and clarifying the work that needed to be done.

Since July of 2020 he’s been applying the many non-APL things he’s learned to help extend and improve the Dyalog APL systems and their interactions with the rest of the computing world.

He points out that Windows 95, which is now 25 years old is about half as old as the APL/360 release!

Welcome Kirstine (Stine) Kromberg

Stine graduated from Copenhagen Business School with a Masters degree in Business Administration and Information Management in 2016, and went to work for a small consultancy firm. She started with “Drag&Drop” programming in SSIS and other similar tools, but quickly moved into project management, accounting, and Business Intelligence.

Covid-19 intervened just as she was looking forward to coming back from maternity leave, and she decided not to burden her previous employer by returning to a job as a consultant in a world where no-one really wanted external consultants for an unknown length of time. Since Dyalog was looking for a new accountant due to Helene’s retirement, she accepted that job. She hopes that she will soon have an opportunity to help the development team with project management as well.

If her last name sound somewhat familiar, it is because Stine is closely related to Gitte and Morten! Stine grew up in a household where APL was a part of everyday life. After swimming against the tide for many years she finally accepted a bet with Morten to give his “hobby” (APL) a try if he gave her hobby (Roleplaying) a try in return. As a result, she spent 2 weeks in Montreal trying to learn from one of the best teachers of APL. But while she learned a little French from staying at Dan Baronet’s house, the APL did not really stick. Morten sadly never got around to roleplaying, but he did take up Zumba many years later, so they consider the deal settled!

Several years later, while looking for something to do as a summer job, she took a job at Insight Systems learning APL while proofreading the new Dyalog APL book by Bernard Legrand and correcting data in the CRM system.

For several years she was hired to help run the help desk at the user meetings whenever they took place in Denmark. Her last appearance at a Dyalog user meeting was as a Zumba instructor in 2012 in Elsinore.

Stine has spent most of her life dancing around the edges of Dyalog, coming to the user meetings and chatting with customers and developers alike, hanging out at the office in Bramley, listening in whenever Gitte and Morten talked shop at the dinner table, trying to learn APL, but realizing that where her heart truly lies is in organizing and managing things. So, while working for an APL company feels like coming home, her ambition is not to take part in development, but instead to take care of all the details and bureaucracy so that the rest of our brilliant team can focus on what they truly love!

Welcome Josh David

Josh David is a recent graduate from the University of Scranton with a degree in Computer Science. He minored in Philosophy at college and headed The Philosophy Society, so feel free to strike up a philosophical discussion with him at any time!

He is no stranger to APL. In Scranton, he was introduced to APL during an internship with The Carlisle Group. From there, he continued learning and developing in APL and was one of the three grand prize winners in the 2016 APL problem solving competition. Throughout his college career he sporadically worked on other APL projects. He has done frequent pair programming with Stephen Mansour, who was conveniently teaching statistics at the same university! His interest is in Computer Science, and he has also done non-APL related software development at his University and professionally during another internship with MetLife.

He will primarily be a contractor for North American clients. Some of his time will also be spent with Dyalog’s Tools group, developing tools to make APL programming easier, more powerful, and current with new technologies.

One particular area he wants to tackle is creating more libraries and interfaces in APL. With the recent push towards git and source code in text files among the Dyalog APL community, he believes that now is a prime time to do this.

Welcome Nathan Rogers

Based in Denver, Colorado, Nathan Rogers is a new member of the Dyalog team. In previous lives, Nathan spent six years as a member of the United States Armed Services as a Satellite Communications Operator, studied music theory and performance at the University of Northern Colorado, and built desktop and web applications across numerous languages and frameworks in a variety of domains.

Nathan first came into contact with APL when discussing code obfuscation with other programmers, and a coworker mentioned K and APL. APL became an immediate obsession, and Nathan became a regular in the Stack Exchange chat room “The APL Orchard”. He quickly began spending all of his free time learning APL, building familiar applications and tools using this quirky language, and reading about its fascinating history. He finds it funny in hindsight that he was introduced to the language in a conversation about code obfuscation, only to now be an APL evangelist, believing the concepts of APL to be as fundamental to elevating the world of computer programming as the Arabic numerals were to the study of Mathematics. After a year or so, Nathan was put in touch with Morten Kromberg at Dyalog. The two began pair-programming projects, which quickly proved fruitful and led to Nathan joining the team soon after.

When Nathan isn’t working on consulting projects, or tools for Dyalog, you can typically find him behind his keyboard building his own tools and toy functions in APL, with two aims in mind: convert as many traditional programmers as possible to APL, and bring his knowledge and experience to bear on modernizing APL and its tools for the current and next generation of new programmers.

A Blustery Spring

Dyalog version 17.1 will be released soon, with the HTMLRenderer working under Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux, the “Link” system providing infrastructure for connecting APL to source code management systems, pre-built Docker containers with Dyalog APL for Linux installed and many other enhancements that simplify the installation and maintenance of systems based on Dyalog APL.

We’ll be writing much more about version 17.1 soon, and next year’s 18.0 release in due course. The main purpose of this blog entry is to let you know about new members of the Dyalog team and, unfortunately, a couple of departures as well.

Departures


In February, John Scholes passed away. Together with Geoff Streeter, John was one of the original implementors of Dyalog APL in 1982-1983, a cornerstone of all aspects of the Dyalog language and business, and one of the pillars of the APL community. Many members of the community have paid tribute to our Genius, Gentleman and Mischievous Schoolboy at http://johnscholes.rip.

At the end of May 2019, Jay Foad is leaving Dyalog to return to his first love (as a software developer) and become a proper compiler geek again, after nearly a decade of helping move Dyalog APL forward and, for the last three years, helping to “herd the cats” as CTO. We will sorely miss Jay’s technical excellence but understand the desire to hit the sweet skill spot when the opportunity arises, and we wish him good fortune in that pursuit! You can read Jay’s farewell blog post here.

Jay’s management responsibilities will be shared between Richard Smith, our Development Manager and myself; I will be re-assuming the role of CTO until further notice.

New Faces in 2019

The good news is that we will welcome several new people to Dyalog in 2019 – new hands to write code in APL, to work on the APL interpreter, and to write documentation and training materials to help new and old users get their work done more effectively.

APL Consultants

In response to client requests and to help new clients get started writing their first APL systems, we are creating a consulting group in the USA. To date, we have recruited two members for this team: Nathan Rogers joined the team at the end of April and is based in Denver, Colorado, and Josh David starts work for Dyalog in early June (as soon as he graduates) and will be based in New Jersey. If you think you have heard of Josh before, that is probably because he was a winner of the Dyalog Problem-Solving Contest in 2016 (https://www.dyalog.com/news/112/420/2016-APL-Programming-Contest-Winners.htm) – and a runner up in 2015. Nathan found us thanks to Adam Brudzewsky’s work on Stack Exchange: https://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/52405/the-apl-orchard. You can reach them both using e-addresses in the form firstname at dyalog.com.

When members of the consulting team are not working for clients, the intention is that they will be members of the APL Tools Group at Dyalog, working on new tools for APL application development and helping create test suites for Dyalog APL. They will also support Richard Park, who joined us late in 2018, to work on the creation of training materials and tutorials for new users.

Once we have a better idea of the demand for consulting in North America, we expect to grow the team. Please let us know if you could use hired APL hands – in any territory! If we don’t have the resources ourselves, we may be able to find someone else.

Programming Language Implementors

Nathan comes to us with experience from a broad set of tools and programming languages. In addition to writing tools in APL, he will be a part-time member of the core development team, working on the APL interpreter and its interfaces in C, C#, JavaScript, Python and other languages. However, he won’t spend enough time on this to make up for the loss of Jay, who (like most managers at Dyalog) spent a significant amount of his time writing code.

Therefore, as described at https://www.dyalog.com/careers.htm, we are recruiting at least one C / C++ programmer to help us grow the core team.

A Busy – and Exciting Time

2019 is looking like an extremely busy year, with significant growth at Dyalog. As usual, our plan is to bring all the new (and old) hands to the Dyalog user meeting, which will be held in Elsinore, Denmark this year – September 8th to 12th. Details of the programme will soon start to appear at https://www.dyalog.com/user-meetings/dyalog19.htm. If you would like to present an APL-related experience to the user community, make proposals for new features of Dyalog products or suggest topics that you would like Dyalog to speak about at the user meeting, then please let us know as soon as possible!