Tong Zou, Engineer & Musician
Tong Zou, Developer & Musician

To explain a little bit more about myself. I’m a software developer. I also produce music and videos in my spare time and enjoy korean culture, financial investments and tech gadgets. I majored in Computer Science and Economics at the University of Toronto. I am a very goal-oriented person, with a mix of Asian and American thinking. I have a variety of interests which I often elaborate on this blog.

My main focus has always been on computer science with an emphasis on programming and designing over theory. I first got in contact with the computer when I was 7 or 8. My dad was also an engineer, and had a 386 PC running MS-DOS and later Win 3.1 which he was programming BASIC and Pascal on. I later got interested in programming when I played different DOS and Windows games, and noticed how different data files could be swapped around or modified to change sprite values or color pallets, or modifying games by changing configuration files, and thought that was pretty cool. I started writing HTML code when I was 12, when I designed my first website hosted by Angelfire. Later in high school, I would continue designing websites using PHP, JavaScript and Flash, and hack online games using packet sniffers to send and resend data.

As a university student, I’ve continued my passion through technology, been involved in a co-op and an internship, always attending the most intriguing tech conferences and holding interest in cool projects such as Google Summer of Code, Season of Usability, and Startup Weekend. I’ve played around with WordPress and contributed to an open source projects in my spare time. I have been involved in research projects with a professor in the area of CS education, as well as user interface design projects, both of which I found very rewarding. In many ways, I loved the power of technology, how it’s always changing, and how it can affect people’s day to day lives (much like how Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc already affects millions of people). I am also creatively inclined, with several of my hobbies & interests below dealing with online media, social media, music recording, video production, art, languages, and UI design.

I am also an ‘Otaku’ in that I love geeky gadgets, playing video games, and watching Japanese anime in my spare time. I had a Pocket PC (Casio BE300) when I was in high school, and a head mounted display (Myvu Crystal) and convertible tablet (Gateway CX2724) when I was in university, which are very niche gadgets not many people had, especially back then. Since then, I have amassed a collection of tablets, quirky laptops and microPCs, portable displays, amongst other things.

Finance and History are another interest. I am a big investor, especially in stocks and real estate (mutual funds are a bad idea!) and like taking risks. I dream to become a successful entrepreneur someday, and have thought many times of starting my own company, if I had sufficient time or resources. It is interesting to observe how the world works because life makes a bit more sense that way. It is interesting to see who and what shaped this and that and why it happens that way.

My love of music is my (final?) interest and some of my productions can be found in the media section of this website as well as my blog posts. I can play guitar (acoustic & electric), piano, trumpet, bass and drums, as well as sing, with varying degrees of proficiency, but I am also interested in production of music and video and hope that someday I will be able to record and produce my own album, which will combine various genres, blues, rock, pop, classical, and be fluent in many languages, such as English, Chinese and Korean.

I like to teach myself new things. I taught myself to play guitar, piano and I like to learn new things to help expand my knowledge. I learned HTML, CSS, JS and PHP in my spare time. I often go on Wikipedia for fun to read random articles and also look up random words in the Chinese or Korean dictionary all the time. I am also learning Korean in my spare time, finding it a fascinating language to learn as well.

I believe true success is not just being financially secure – it’s having the friends and family you need to be there for you. I love meeting others and like traveling just to meet people and make them a part of my personal history. Whatever my goals may be, I’m stubborn and persistent to the point of frustrating others in achieving them.