Zemanta Best of 2011 – Meet The Team Posts

Zemanta grew quite a bit in 2011 as we added new team members both in our Ljubljana and New York offices. We cornered some of the newbies to tell us a bit about themselves so that we can find out more about them and introduce them to everyone. Here are some of the most interesting answers we got:

Jure Vizintin – UXer Extraordinaire

Some of our users might have already met Jure as he’s been busy interviewing our users and finding out how they use Zemanta and showing them new cool ideas we’re working on.

How did you get involved with Zemanta?

Throughout the summer I was shoveling soil, cutting wood and pondering if I should ever return to the digital world or rather start some agriculture and landscape related business. And then Boštjan called me out of the blue and made such an interesting case with Zemanta, that I had to give it a try. So far it’s been a wild and inspiring ride.

Read Jure’s full interview.

Jure Ham – Man who needs no sleep – The Hamax!

One of the superstars that joined us over the summer is Jure Ham who’s already come out with some amazing work mostly on front-end improvements and some fun hacks, like this awesome Chrome extension!

What are some of the blogs that you follow that others may not have heard about? 


Some of the blogs that I frequently follow are The Skeptics Guide to UniverseReasonable Doubts and Merseyside Skeptics Society.

Read Jure’s full interview.

Major Tom Primožic – Backend Jedi

Tom gave up a career in financial mathematics to work as developer and decided to join our back-end team in our Ljubljana offices.

In a few sentences – Who are you? – Where did you go grow up?

Despite my English-sounding name, I’m a 100% true Slovene who was born in a small village and moved to Ljubljana in early teens. I was fascinated by computers as a kid, and when my uncle gave me a book about programming, I was hooked. After having finished my undergraduate degree in Mathematics in Slovenia, I spent one year studying Financial Mathematics in the UK, and while England was an interesting experience, I’m glad to be back home. Slovenia might be small, but it’s got some amazing landscape and is one of the only countries in the world where you can ski today and windsurf tomorrow.

Read Tom’s full interview.

Šam Šandberg – The NY Ljubljancan

Sam the Man moved from NYC to Ljubljana to join our development team, the first in this reverse recruitment scheme! He’s been busy working with our sales team on making our reporting system even more kick ass!

What are some of your other interests?

Blogs and bands aside, I’m also super passionate about technology, particularly open source software, service oriented architectures, and object oriented programming. My flavors of choice are PHP/ZendFramework, MySQL, Python (newly), and Android. I love playing around with exposed APIs and coming up with interesting mashups, as well as hacking out one-off projects overnight.

I was an active member of the New York Tech Meetup (over 17.000 participants with monthly meetups of 800 of the most active members), and am making the bridge between Ljubljana and New York City’s tech scenes. I actually found my position at Zemanta via the New York Tech Meetup’s community listserve, where another member happened to be a friend of a friend of Bostjan’s. Small world!

Read Sam’s full interview.

Jason Bhatti aka Bhattibytes

Prior to coming to the company, he studied Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and made his way around the world of social media working for KickApps and FlightPath. An avid snowboarder and gamer, he’s excited to bring his myriad experience and enthusiasm to the company.

How did you go from “mechanical and aerospace engineering” to “account executive”? Details please!

Being an account executive is a bit different then Mechanical Aerospace Engineering, but no less challenging.  I had a lot of family pressure in choosing my major at school, but it seems life had a better plan for me and I haven’t looked back.  I love working with technology and people, and I get to do just that working for Zemanta.  I also think its a great mix having the background in engineering and working in the technology industry.

Read Jason’s full interview.

Mateja Verlic – Dr. Mateja Verlic!

Mateja joined us over the summer to focus on European Union-related projects. Prior to Zemanta, she was Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maribor and was mentor to Slovenia’s team at the Imagine Cup competition.

What is your role at Zemanta?

I have plenty of roles… officially I’m the first woman (sorry Breda, plants don’t count) and first PhD nerd employed, furthermore, I’m a Python newbie and … oh… researcher. I plan on becoming a good developer… and a friend? Coffee anyone? :)

Read Mateja’s full interview.

Gašper Šetinc – The Gape!

Gašper joined in the spring and has worked mainly on integrating new sources as part of our recommendations. To differentiate from Gasper K., Gašper S. is going by his nickname, Gape.

Team Google or Team Apple? Explain!

Disclaimer: I am a big Apple fan in terms of their products. But this is a question of team preferences and based on public appearance I would go with team Google. It seems a more natural, friendlier and geekish environment for a guy like me. I would still own an iPhone though :).

Read Gasper’s full interview.


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