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Just like that, another year has come and gone and here at CSOFT’s headquarters in Beijing, we celebrated the passing of the year of the sheep in style. CSOFTers from all over the world gathered in World Financial Centre in China’s capital city for a series of inspiring speeches, the announcement of our CSOFT Academy award winners, and a company-wide dinner to welcome us all into the year of the monkey.

Year of the Monkey

The event started with an inspirational talk from our president and CEO, Shunee Yee, to all of us CSOFTers in the audience in which she spoke about a blog post written by founder of Viaweb and friend of CSOFT, Paul Graham. The article, entitled Cities and Ambitions, discussed the effect that a city can have on an individual’s ambition to succeed. Graham said even the most determined individuals become discouraged when the people around them don’t care about the same things they care about.

This led Shunee to talking about a book that was introduced in a CSOFT Summit session four years ago — Outlier by Malcolm Gladwell. The book, much like Cities and Ambitions, explains that successful people stick together and the people around you are instrumental in shaping your future. The audience reflected on this theory: is CSOFT one of these entities? Does the CSOFT office inspire everyone in and around it to achieve more and become even more successful?

Those questions were quickly answered as we moved onto the next part of the celebration – the CSOFT Academy Award 2015. As we watched the five excellent videos put together by our noble finalists, it was clear that CSOFT is an environment in which our people can grow, flourish and succeed. With that, I’d like to wish a further congratulations to the winners: Wenlei Qu, Tracey Li, and Lily Wang. Enjoy your free trips to South Korea!

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After the awards, flowers, and trophies were given out to the winning CSOFTers, everyone gathered to head for a big meal but not before some more pre-dinner entertainment. Hosted by our technical writer, John Wawrose, and project manager, Rita Wang, the night was just beginning. The duo, both dressed in traditional Chinese garments, initiated a series of activities including a highly competitive game of musical chairs which was eventually won by our new technical writer, William Simpson.

The games were followed by a showing of the traditional Chinese face-changing dance known as Biàn Liǎn ( 变脸). The audience was enthralled by the speed at which the dancer was changing his masks and when he came off stage and wandered into the crowd, the cheers became even louder. It was the perfect way to lead up to the meal which featured a large array of dishes including traditional Beijing roast duck wrapped in pancakes.

Year of the Monkey

The event was a truly fitting way to end another extremely successful year. If it is true that someone’s environment has a key effect on their success, then being surrounded by all the CSOFT employees will surely lead you towards an even more prosperous year — the year of the monkey.

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