For months we’ve been hunting for someone to work with us on Wordnik.com. We knew the ideal person would both design and code, but it’s hard to find people who excel at either, much less both, so before we even posted the job we were debating what kinds of compromises we would have to make.
We were ecstatic when Zeke Sikelianos got in touch and made it easy on us. He’s a polymath who makes beautiful things that work, and it didn’t hurt that he was one of the winners of our developers challenge. We’re delighted to welcome him to Wordnik.

On (Y)our Mark …

On Your Mark!

Photo by, and licensed (C BY-NC-ND 2.0) from, chicagoceli.

We are overjoyed to welcome Mark Wong-VanHaren as Wordnik’s new VP of R&D. He’ll be working with us to turn billions of words of delicious language data into cool products and tools to help folks know and enjoy more about English.

Mark was one of the original founders of Excite, which was arguably the first *real* search engine. In addition to being a world-renowned technologist, he casually types around 130WPM on one of those crazy Kinesis keyboards.

Here’s Mark in his own words:

Mark Wong-VanHaren loves language. He has studied a half-dozen natural languages, and coded in far more programming ones. With friends from Stanford, he co-founded the pioneering search engine Excite, putting his Symbolic Systems skills to good use. He then worked with a handful of other start-ups, in addition to being an EIR at Charles River Ventures, before recently serving as CTO of Glyde, an e-commerce company. Mark loves afro-cuban music, playing hockey (both the ice- and table- varieties), functional programming, the Green Bay Packers, hiking with his family, and Almodóvar flicks.