November 29, 2005 / Winter 2005

Let’s Talk With – Jin Hu

Written by Idea File Staff

HU HAS BEEN A PROGRAMMER WITH WALSWORTH FOR THREE YEARS. She reports to Alex Blackwell, director of Desktop Technology, and her area is part of the Sales and Marketing Department,which is based in Kansas City, Mo. Originally from Sichuan Province in southwest China, Hu has lived in the United States for 10 years and earned her degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She became a U.S. citizen in summer 2003.

5 QUESTIONS

PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR JOB.
My job is a programmer analyst, and I use C++ and Realbasic (software development applications) to design and develop Walsworth’s plug-ins for PageMaker software. This year, and all of next year, I will move to designing the functionality of the plug-ins for InDesign and InDesign CS for 2006.

We get information from the yearbook representatives and their managers about what functionality our customers want. That is where development starts.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR JOB THAT BENEFITS CUSTOMERS?
It’s how we understand the customers’ needs and requirements. If we have a good understanding, we cannot only meet their requirements, but we can provide more options for them, and we can even work ahead of them.

Alex has a close connection with the yearbook representatives, and he talks with them on the phone and he’s always asking them for feedback (about) our products. Alex is always asking if our customers like the current version, or what can we do for them.

HOW MUCH OF YOUR JOB IS A TEAM EFFORT?
We really have teamwork. First, we need to work with the project managers, and they are a bridge between the programmers and our customers, passing along the necessary information to us. Also, between the programmers, we have to work together on the projects. This year on some projects I worked closely with Jianke (Wang, programmer). He worked on the Windows version and I worked on the Mac version of some of our plug-ins, so we teamed up a lot.

Actually, every programmer now is doing both the beta forms (for Mac and Windows). I will work on plug-ins for InDesign in both Mac and Windows, after I have finished with work this fall on our new online page creation service, Online Advantage.

WHAT RECENT IMPROVEMENTS FROM YOUR DEPARTMENT HAVE REALLY HELPED CUSTOMERS?
We have a lot of updates. From my point of view, for almost every plug-in we not only just updated the interface, but also a lot of functionality. That includes Panel Maker, Image Placer, Image Tag, and Good to Go. Good to Go was last year’s big project, and it was designed by Jianke.

WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT TO BECOME AN AMERICAN CITIZEN?
I should have become an American citizen a couple of years ago. My husband and I had our green cards for a long time. I figured since I lived here, and I got my education from this country, and I worked in this country, and I got a lot of benefit from this country, and I appreciate this country, I thought it was time to become a citizen.

The American people are really proud to be American citizens. Most of the people are really generous, kind and have a warmth to them. I really like this country.

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.