About Me

My History


I'm Michael Xing, and I like computers.

This obsession started in third grade, when I discovered PowerPoint (of all things) and realized how technology allowed even a dumb kid like me to create cool things: videos, animations, games - all manner of interactive experiences. Over the years, I taught myself animation, video editing, web design, and more (not necessarily well, mind you) before realizing I had exactly zero artistic bones in my body and should probably stick to programming.

Scroll down to see a bit about me.

I'm from Charlotte, North Carolina

Born and raised. Some people not born in Charlotte told me that this makes me a "Charlotte Unicorn."

I'm not quite sure how I feel about that.

I spent a few years in Hong Kong

My parents moved there 'cause of work and we stayed for three years. Here's where I made my first PowerPoint. Sadly I never learned how to speak Cantonese.

That's not entirely true. I can understand "please stand back from the doors."

I was back in Charlotte for the rest of K-12

Learned to play the piano. Taught myself how to program (and made this website). Joined the debate team. Developed a crippling reddit addiction passion for internet discussion forums. All here.

I went to university in upstate New York

That means Cornell. I went to Cornell.

Spent a lot of time working on course staff for the data structures course. Won an award for it which is cool I guess.

I have a fancy piece of paper

Cornell University
College of Arts and Sciences
Bachelor of Arts with Distinction
Majors: Computer Science (summa cum laude)
        Physics (summa cum laude)
Minor:  Game Design

You know it's impressive because there's Latin on it.

My diploma

Now I work in Seattle

Technically Redmond. It's been fun. We'll see what happens next.

3D globe provided by:
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History of this Site

This site was thrown together back in eighth grade for no particular reason beyond the fact that I wanted to make a website. As I've worked on it over the years, two guiding principles have shaped its development:

  1. Anything I wanted to throw online or show off went onto this site
  2. Existing parts should be preserved as the site grows, acting like a time capsule of my work

Consequently, there's a lot of stuff on here, and much of it is rather old. Almost every page should have a date on it, which may be useful for contextualizing when it was created. In addition, the changelog (which I've labelled "Blog" to aggrandize its importance) provides documentation for most of my additions.

Please note that while accessibility was always a goal for me, newer pages are likely to be more accessible than older ones solely due to increased competence over time. For that I do apologize.

This particular page was last updated in late 2021. Since this About page does get updated from time to time, a fun thing I like to do is to preserve prior versions of it. Below, you can click through to see what this particular page looked like in the past.

Why ""?

Frankly, it's a historical artifact.

Back in middle school, when I first put together this site, there were too many Michaels in my classes - one class had as many as three. To avoid confusion, everyone just started referring to us by last name, and so I became known simply as "Xing" (pronounced sh-ing). For some reason this stopped being a problem in high school, but by then my site was already established.

I'm not a very photogenic person and I don't keep many photos of myself (that's an understatement - my LinkedIn profile photo is, to this day, from high school). As such, once the "Xing" logo was made, I discovered I can easily macgyver together a profile picture by just taking the "X" on its own. And I've never bothered to make a better logo since. That's where the X comes from.

The first version of my site actually proudly displayed "Xing's Site" across the top (the Wayback Machine never grabbed the very first version, but its earliest snapshot does still show the text in the header). The logo was made on the website Flaming Text, taking the default "Beauty" template and making it blue. Over the years, a few changes were made. Within months, the "'s Site" was dropped, leaving just my name. Then, I realized that the font, Cooper, was freely available on Adobe Fonts and so recreated the logo in PhotoShop, flattening out the text fill into a solid color in the process (this was the 2016 site redesign). And then a few years later, once CSS text stroke support had caught up, I ditched the prerendered logo entirely and drew the logo in CSS. That's where we're at now.

Links to Click

Some Credits

Everything listed above is free