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Profile: Thomas S. Chin

July 9, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld -

Name: Thomas S. Chin
Title: Vice president and chief scientist
Company: BitShelter Inc.
Age: 32
Industry: Other


30-second biography: A Basic expert by third grade, Chin began coding professionally at age 12. By 1990, he had developed numerous real-time multicomputer applications running with no downtime and communicating securely with other devices, for companies such as Inter-American Juice and Interbake Foods.

Upon graduating from Tufts University in 1996, Chin co-authored the first concerted distributed computing effort on the Internet (Genx.net). The success of this effort was one of the reasons why the U.S. limit on exportable crytographic key size had to be increased. While studying for his master's in computer science at Columbia University, Chin was hired as chief scientist at HotJobs.com, where he was responsible for all architecture for an early Web site that had to employ various caching layers and distributed systems to handle ultra-high-volume traffic loads.

At BitShelter, Chin designed and developed a secure, scalable, fault-tolerant and geographically redundant object store system able to operate on heterogeneous hardware, and a rapid Internet application deployment layer.

Current project: "I am doing something similar for PhotoShelter, an online archive and marketplace for professional photography, and working to improve its archival workflow management of media."

Who in the technology industry most influenced your career? "My father, who is also a technologist and gave me the opportunity to enter the technology industry at a very early age."
The technology you can't live without: "The Internet and broadband access. The ability to quickly access information and communicate with others whether at work or home has become a necessity for me and people around the world."

Most-critical technologies for IT this year: "On- and offline collaborative tools and workflow applications. The ability to access information and communicate with others while off-site is a necessity."

The best thing about today's technology: "It allows us to access information and services regardless of physical location."

The worst thing about today's technology: "At home or in the workplace, it can be the biggest distraction."

Technology can …"Only enable new ideas, not create them."

Book most recently on your nightstand: The Future of Spacetime, by Stephen William Hawking

What sets you apart? "At the age of 32, I have over 20 years of professional IT experience. I continue to grow and learn with each project, constantly looking for quicker and more efficient ways of doing things. I welcome and thrive on the challenges that technology presents me."

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