#TeamWP: Meet Calum Clark, Interaction Designer

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Meet Calum Clark, an avid reader, artist and our very own #TeamWP interaction designer. What started as a one month contract 3 years ago, turned into a two month contract, and eventually into a full-time career with Whitepages (we just couldn’t let him leave!). In the day-to-day life of Calum, most of his time is spent on our consumer Web team working on wireframes, sketching mockups, running user tests and to sum it all up in Calum’s own words, “making stuff look pretty.” Let’s meet Calum!

 

Which office are you in?
Seattle.

Why did you join Whitepages?
I first came to Whitepages as a temporary contractor. I really enjoyed the environment and the amount of influence I had on design compared to my previous experiences, so eventually a one-month gig became two months, then six months, then full-time. I think my 3-year anniversary as a FTE is in August.

What’s your hometown?
Stanwood, Washington.

What’s your favorite snack in the kitchen?
Frozen fruit gummies.

How do you take your coffee?
Cream and sugar. At home I use a French press, cheap grounds. I don’t care so much about the quality of the beans, coffee is more about function+ritual to me.

What do you listen to at work?  What’s on your playlist?
Mostly indie nonsense, but my tastes are broad. Punk, rap, classical, folk, blues, electronic, etc. As far as bands go, Mountain Goats, Thee Oh Sees, Postiljonen, Titus Andronicus, Pixies.

What was your very first job?
Janitor at a tractor repair shop, spent a lot of my time cleaning up oil spills and chopping up wood for the stove. I hope to never have a job again where one of my responsibilities is emptying a spittoon, but it was probably a healthy experience.

Describe your first computer.
Compaq Presario (~1997) laptop running Windows 95, didn’t have internet until a year or two after that. Played a lot of SimCity and Jane’s ATF.

What was your favorite TV show when you were a child?
Bill Nye the Science Guy, NOVA, etc. I was a science kid.
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Fill in the blank: If you really knew me, you’d know _______.
…that I don’t know myself well enough to answer questions like this?

What are you most proud of?
Human accomplishment in general. That, and my friends and family.

What do you do when you have 30 minutes of free time?
Draw or read. Scan Instagram.

If you had 10 extra dollars what would you buy?
A Deluxe, fries, and chocolate shake from Dick’s. That or a new sketch book.
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What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Creep by Radiohead.

What’s the last vacation you went on?
San Francisco for the weekend, 4 or 5 months ago.
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What’s your signature gelato flavor?
Strawberry Lemon.

Two things you can’t live without?
Drawing, reading.

#TeamWP: Meet Data Engineer, Joel Azose

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When you hear the words “engineer” and “architecture,” you may think of the office you are in now, and the people that were integral in helping to shape that building. What many don’t realize is that engineers are just as crucial to a website such as Whitepages as they are to the structural design of a building. That’s why we want you to meet one of our data engineers, Joel Azose. Joel helps to build and maintain the architecture to efficiently and safely process millions of rows of data each month. Throughout this process, Joel is always searching for ways to get increased value out of the data that Whitepages currently has. Let’s meet Joel!

Which office are you in?
The Seattle office.

Why did you join Whitepages?
I joined Whitepages through a recruiting event at the University of Washington. I could tell it would be a great place to learn new skills & develop professionally, while working on projects that can have an immensely positive impact on the real world.

What’s your hometown?
Mercer Island, WA.

What’s your favorite snack in the kitchen?
A handful of cashews.

How do you take your coffee?
I’m more of a tea person. There’s nothing like a good mug of mint tea!

What do you listen to at work?  What’s on your playlist?
Today, it’s been a mix of the new Sufjan Stevens and Belle & Sebastian albums. I’ve also been listening lately to a podcast called “The Worst Idea of All Time,” in which two guys from New Zealand watch the movie “Grown Ups 2” once a week & review it. My heart goes out to those young men.

What was your very first job?
A counselor at a summer camp in Tumwater, WA.

Describe your first computer.
Growing up, we had an (already super-outdated) Apple IIGS that I remember playing the original Prince of Persia & other old games on.
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(Remember these?!)

What was your favorite TV show when you were a child?
Power Rangers. Billy the Blue Ranger was my favorite.
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Fill in the blank: If you really knew me, you’d know _______.
I can lick my elbow.

What are you most proud of?
In eighth grade, I was the fourth-ranked mathlete in the state of Washington.

What do you do when you have 30 minutes of free time?
I usually carry at least one book on me, so I find a comfortable place to sit & do some reading. (We just asked – Joel just finished “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” yesterday & now is starting a book of short stories called; “The View From The Seventh Layer“.)

If you had 10 extra dollars what would you buy?
Some new reads from the clearance section of Half-Price Books.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”, by The Smiths. (It’s nowhere near as depressing as it sounds.)

What’s the last vacation you went on?
I just got back from a week in Austin, TX with my friend Deb! We cruised the UT campus, saw live music on 6th, and kayaked on Ladybird Lake.

What’s your signature gelato flavor?
Vanilla bean, all the way. It’s a classic for a reason.

Two things you can’t live without?
My electric guitar (a red ’56 Danelectro U2) & my water bottle
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Caller ID Gets a Mobile Makeover

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By this time, you’ve probably heard us talk about something called “Caller ID.” For those of you that haven’t, Caller ID is Whitepages’ very own Android app that identifies unknown calls, gives those calls a spam ranking and easily allows for call blocking. We are so excited about our app that we decided to dig deeper and found some pretty fun statistics (Did you know that 10 million phone numbers have been flagged as scams, telemarketers and debt collectors to date!?).

 

 

Take a look at our Caller ID infographic below to see just how many of those flagged calls were scams (and more!):

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Tune in! Listen to Whitepages CEO and Founder Alex Algard on SiriusXM Business Radio

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All of us are thrilled to announce that Alex Algard, the founder and CEO of Whitepages recently joined David Robertson on SiriusXM business program, Innovation Navigation. Innovation Navigation broadcasts weekly from Wharton School’s Ivy League campus featuring various world-renowned thought leaders and we are pleased to say that Alex is featured as one of them! The program offers advice and insight for entrepreneurs and managers who are looking to grow their company’s innovation tactics.

In this program, Alex discusses the growth of Whitepages from it’s early beginnings (in his Stanford dorm room 20 years ago!), and how he has strived to help the company maintain a startup mentality throughout. Not only does Alex review the importance of the data behind Whitepages but he explains why he puts so much effort into the Whitepages employees, and the need to create an environment that fosters energy, innovation, collaboration and excitement (Have you seen our office!?).

Join Alex as he discusses Whitepages on Sirius XM Business Radio

Take a look at a few behind-the-scenes photos from the interview!

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Whitepages Tech Talk – A Continued Education

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Here at Whitepages, we continue to grow and educate ourselves by exploring the behind-the-scenes processes and strengths of other businesses in the community. To bring that education to the next level, Whitepages hosts guests from outside businesses who present on hot topics in the tech world, and how they relate to their company.

From learning how to use big data to winning at Fantasy Football, to understanding how one company dealt with technical issues as they’ve grown, these tech talks cover issues that any company can learn from. Join us as we explore these topics on a deeper level and discover how they can be applied to your own business.

Watch the following videos to hear insights from Tune, Cloudera and Revinate.


Tune – Solving MobileAppTracking With Spark Software and More

Whitepages welcomes Peter Brown-Hayes, a lead software engineer working in the data flow team for the MobileAppTracking product at Tune. In this video, Peter discusses some technical issues that Tune has encountered through their growth and how they have solved, and continue to solve these issues.

Cloudera – Moneyballing: Using Data to Win at Fantasy Football

Juliet Hougland, of Cloudera explains historical data and how it relates to Fantasy Football. She covers how utilizing predictive models based on historical data improves team selection and performance.

Revinate – Migrating From a Public to Private Cloud

Christopher Snell from Revinate covers the process of migrating a company from a public to private cloud. He explains his  findings from when Revinate went through this process, and how they overcame obstacles affecting their transition.

Stay tuned next week, as we introduce another trending tech topic and how it applies to business. Interested in staying up to date on our Whitepages Tech Talks?  Subscribe to our Youtube Channel!