John Anderson

In 1989, John Anderson was a first-year Computer Science student at RIT and the term Information Technology, or IT, was just coming into vogue. The Okemos, Mich., native decided IT would be a better fit, so he transferred into RIT’s new IT major.

“It was much more suitable to my interests and tastes,” Anderson says. “It included the psychological aspects of computing, not just programming. IT prepared me to wear many different hats in the high-tech field.”

After graduating from RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology, Anderson worked as an IT professional in a variety of roles at companies such as Paradigm Interactive, networkMCI, and Landmark Community Interest.

Since 1998, Anderson has been working as an applications developer at SAS inSchool, a division of SAS Institute, in Cary, N.C., the nation’s leading provider of business intelligence software and services.

“I develop online software for the K-12 educational market,” says Anderson. “The goal of SAS inSchool software is to enhance student learning and teacher effectiveness.”

In 2005, Anderson’s development team won a Duke’s Choice Award from Sun Microsystems for SAS inSchool’s Introductory Algebra program.

“John brings a rare blend of skills, including Java, DHTML, CSS, XML, and SQL, to name just a few,” says Tom Richards, manager of educational software development for SAS inSchool. “The important thing is fluency in these many widely varied technologies, and John is able to come up with truly innovative and sophisticated approaches to development problems. He is an asset to the SAS team.”

Anderson attributes his own penchant for hard work and good study habits in school to his father, a retired college professor and dean who provided his son with encouraging advice along the way.

“My dad would tell me, ‘Work as hard as you can and don’t worry about it. Good grades will follow,’” says Anderson. “It is very true, and I stuck to that through my time at RIT.”

Anderson and his wife, Amanda, have a 5-year-old daughter, Grace. He is an avid windsurfer and enjoys mountain biking and inline hockey. In October, Anderson, with members of his Colonial Baptist Church, traveled to Kagoshima, Japan, to provide fellowship and assistance to members of the Kibou Baptist Church.

This story appeared in the Fall/Winter 2006 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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