Jenny Han Donnelly: YUI Engineer (AdaLovelaceDay09)

By YUI TeamMarch 24, 2009

Jenny Han Donnelly, Sr. Engineer, Yahoo; author of YUI DataTable, DataSource and AutoComplete

[Note: This post is part of the YUI team's participation in Ada Lovelace Day, a celebration of female technologists around the world.]

Jenny Han Donnelly is the author of three YUI components:

  1. The DataTable Control: YUI's DataTable is one of our signature UI widgets, providing a powerful menu of interactive options for tabular data.
  2. The AutoComplete Control: AutoComplete provides typeahead, suggest, filtration and combo-box functionality to any text input area.
  3. The DataSource Utility: Shared by DataTable, AutoComplete and the Charts Control, DataSource serves as a conduit between widgets and potential sources of data — including server-side data, JavaScript arrays, and DOM structures like HTML tables.

Jenny's work inspires us in part because of the technical challenges she takes on — try getting fixed headers with xy scrolling to work in IE6 using a semantically sound base table sometime, if you have any doubts. Jenny has taken on some of the most complex HCI challenges anywhere in YUI and engineered them to suit virtually any environment. DataSource enables other YUI components to work with anything from flat files to JSON and XML to JavaScript arrays and DOM structures. We've heard from thousands of people on the YUI forums using all of these features and more in ecclectic and novel ways.

We're also inspired by the organizational leadership Jenny has shown in her time at Yahoo. Currently, she's the lead editor of YUIBlog, bringing technical voices from throughout Yahoo to these pages to share their insights. She has also organized our annual frontend engineering summit at Yahoo, bringing hundreds of Yahoo engineers from around the world together in a rich weeklong technical conference. She's taught weeklong YUI courses to engineers in the USA, Korea and Japan, and she's been an integral member of the hack day group at Yahoo that's such an important part of our engineering culture.

Whether she's coding, writing, teaching or leading — all of which are aspects of the modern technologist's job description — Jenny sets a high bar with her intelligence, dedication, imagination and wit. Ada would be proud.

[photo of Jenny used by kind permission of Stephen Woods]