Introducing Morry Kang, Software Engineer

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Someone(Not by Mark Twain as popularly perceived)

I love this quote. It described how I lived my life and how I want to continue with my life.

I came from a very small town in China (small towns in China still have 430,000 people and 512 square miles though). It’s tiny compared to those monstrous cities. It’s surrounded by mountains, so back when I was a child, it wasn’t very well connected to the outside world. There wasn’t even a supermarket until I was 10.

When I was 17, I left my hometown and went to the big city for college. I stayed there for 5 years including one year of work, and in case you are curious, I was an English major. The most technical thing we did with our computer was creating PowerPoint slides for presentations. You are maybe wondering how the hell did I become a software engineer now. Good question! Don’t worry. It’s all part of the story.

During college, I called myself a mini-merchant. I had been selling sheets, used books, school supplies, and a bunch of other random things around the campus. I was even interviewed by the city newspaper (it’s a monstrous city, remember?). Not because of how much money I made, but the idea I had about how to sell those things. This also led me to be on the blacklist of my college advisor, who thought it was absolutely terrible for a student to think about things other than studying. Anyways, I had LOTS of fun.

But by the time of graduation, I had no clue what I wanted to do, mainly because I wanted to do so many things. So I thought: ‘Screw it! Let fate make decisions for me.’ Three months before graduation, I got a phone call from one of those big international corporations. One week later, I started working as a technical support analyst. Still, no sign of coding whatsoever. That said, I loved my job, I was helping people by guiding them through complicated computer information systems. Soon I started imagining myself making these systems prettier and more user friendly. But I couldn’t, because I didn’t know how. Oh, doesn’t it suck when you want to do something but you can’t. So my journey of becoming a software engineer began with  taking the Toefl and GMAT, and completing papers and graduate program applications. Then I went to Baylor University where I received my Masters degree, and now I’m here, a full-stack javascript engineer. Did I make it seem too simple? It was definitely a challenge, but you see, once I figured out what I wanted in life, the rest just fell into place because I refused to settle for less. No matter how impossible it seemed, I wasn’t afraid, because I knew that’s what I wanted.

I have one more story to tell. I saved up about $2,000 before I quit my old job and traveled for 5 months through thousands of miles, across 4 countries. By the end of my trip I was so poor that I had to live in a monastery for a couple of weeks in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which turned out to be an unforgettable experience. I had so much fun even though I can’t say it was a the most comfortable trip, considering that I only had $2000. Some day I’m going to do it again for sure, but next time it’ll be with more money.

Introducing Judy Lin, Software Engineer

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Howdy! My name is Judy and I’m the newest addition to TourConnect’s engineer team.

After finishing high school at the Episcopal School of Dallas, I went on to major in Mathematics from the University of Rochester. While there I also studied economics, philosophy, European history, chemistry, and everything else I could get my hands on. I’m a firm believer in being well-rounded and trying to gain knowledge in a vast array of subjects.

Post graduation, I spent about five years in healthcare and found my calling in programming when I was trying to create my own photography website. I enrolled in the Full Stack Web Development program offered by Galvanize in Denver and spent six months working an average of twelve hours a day cranking out code with an emphasis on the MEAN stack.

I found myself highly interested in company culture and wanted to find a start-up where I could continue to grow. TourConnect provides exactly that (as well as unlimited beverages) and knowing that Geoff also came from a similar background, I know this is the perfect place for me.

Industry Insider- Knowing When to Automate

By Industry Insider, Tour Operators & Agents 2 Comments

A Discussion with Pure! Travel Group – DMC – Quito, Ecuador

Welcome to the Industry Insider blog series.  The Industry Insider aims to highlight common challenges across the tourism industry.  From sales to reservations to accounting to operations, we all strive to operate efficiently and profitably. At the core of TourConnect is a passion for uniting the industry around the solutions to these challenges.

Bram Evers, Pure Travel GroupToday, we look at a closer look at Pure! Travel Group, a DMC specializing in one-of-a-kind trips to Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia. We spoke with Bram Evers, general manager for Pure! Travel Group to learn more about the way they do business in South America. Read More

2015 Tour Operator Survey Results Revealed

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Last year we published the results of our Inaugural Tour Operator Survey and the information that we gathered was so helpful at shedding light on some of the challenges regarding the annual contracting process within the tourism industry that we decided to expand on the questions we asked and do it again this year.  We hope the results and analysis below will provide transparency into the process and help suppliers and tour operators understand how detrimental this inefficiency is to their businesses. Be sure to also take a look at our 2015 Supplier Survey Results, as well, to get the supplier perspective. Read More

Are You A Spammer?

By Research & Insights, Suppliers, Tour Operators & Agents No Comments

The idea for this blog post came from one of the results of our Supplier Survey that we recently conducted. The question we asked was “Of the partners that you send annual rates to, how many of them actually make bookings?” Seems pretty straight forward, right? You would assume that a Supplier wouldn’t take the time to send their rates to a company that wasn’t going to send them business, but in reality, it is surprisingly common. Read More