Audrey Tang

Audrey Tang (born 18 April 1981; formerly known as Autrijus Tang) is a Taiwanese free software programmer, who has been described as one of the "ten greats of Taiwanese computing personalities".[1] In August 2016, she was invited to join the Taiwan Executive Yuan as a minister without portfolio, making her the first transgender official in the top executive cabinet.[2]

Audrey Tang
Minister without Portfolio
Assumed office
1 October 2016
PremierLin Chuan
William Lai
Personal details
Born18 April 1981 (1981-04-18) (age 38)
Political partyIndependent
Audrey Tang
Traditional Chinese唐鳳
Simplified Chinese唐凤
Original name
Traditional Chinese唐宗漢
Simplified Chinese唐宗汉


Tang's parents are Tang Kuang-hua and Lee Ya-ching.[3] Tang showed an early interest in computers, beginning to learn Perl programming at age 12.[4] Two years later, she dropped out of high school, unable to adapt to student life.[1] By the year 2000, at the age of 19, Tang had already held positions in software companies, and worked in California's Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur.[4]

In late 2005, Tang began transitioning to female, including changing her English and Chinese names, citing a need to reconcile her outward appearance with her self-image.[5] When her gender transition is brought up, Tang has said, "I've been shutting reality off and lived almost exclusively on the net for many years, because my brain knows for sure that I am a woman, but the social expectations demand otherwise".[6]

The television news channel of Republic of China, ETToday, reports that she has an IQ of 180.[1] she is a vocal proponent for autodidacticism[7] and individualist anarchism.[4]

Free software contributions

Tang is better known for initiating and leading the Pugs project, a joint effort from the Haskell and Perl communities to implement the Perl 6 language;[8] she has also made contributions to internationalization and localization efforts for several Free Software programs, including SVK (a version-control software written in Perl for which she also wrote a large portion of the code), Request Tracker, and Slash, as well as heading Traditional Chinese translation efforts for various open source-related books.[1][4]

On CPAN, Tang initiated over 100 Perl projects between June 2001 and July 2006, including the popular Perl Archive Toolkit (PAR), a cross-platform packaging and deployment tool for Perl 5.[9] she is also responsible for setting up smoke test and digital signature systems for CPAN.[10] In October 2005, she was a speaker at O'Reilly Media's European Open Source Convention in Amsterdam.[11]

Political career

Tang was named a minister without portfolio in the Lin Chuan cabinet in August 2016. She took office as the "Digital Minister" on October 1, and was placed in charge of helping government agencies communicate policy goals and managing information published by the government, both via digital means.[12][13] Tang was quoted saying, "My existence is not to become a minister for a certain group, nor to broadcast government propaganda. Instead, it is to become a "channel" to allow greater combinations of intelligence and strength to come together."[14] Tang was given this role in the Taiwanese cabinet, as a minister without portfolio, to bridge the gap between the older and younger generations.[15] Tang is currently working on the development of free software, for the public to access, and show that the new Taiwanese sharing economy, is in fact a working system.[16] At age 35, Tang became the youngest minister without portfolio in Taiwanese history.[17]


  1. Chen, Chun-ming (2006-02-08). "別叫我「先生」! 電腦怪傑唐宗漢變性 改名唐鳳 (Don't call me "Mister"! Tang Zonghan changes sex, name now Tang Feng)" (in Chinese). Eastern Television. Archived from the original on 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  2. "PROFILE: Audrey Tang: 100% made in Taiwan - Taipei Times". Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  3. Chung, Jake (28 August 2016). "PROFILE: Audrey Tang: 100% made in Taiwan". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  4. Li, Hsin-ru (2000-06-28). "專題報導 : 尋找台灣自由軟體力量 (Special Report: Searching for the power of Taiwanese free software)". CNet Taiwan). Archived from the original on 2006-08-31. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  5. "Audrey Tang's Blog: Runtime Typecasting". December 2005. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  6. Audrey, "鳳" "Phoenix", 1 February 2017
  7. Chen, Bo-nian (2000-06-28). "平淡中見絢爤-李雅卿的教改之路 (Lee Ya-Ching's road toward educational reform)". Epoch Taiwan). Archived from the original on 2004-01-15. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
  8. "A Plan for Pugs". O'Reilly Media. 2005-03-03. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  9. "Author page for autrijus". CPAN. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  10. "Becoming a CPAN Tester with CPANPLUS". O'Reilly Media. 2002-04-30. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  11. "Perl Internationalization and Haskell: an interview with Autrijus Tang". O'Reilly Media. 2005-09-08. Archived from the original on 31 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
  12. Lin, Milly; Tai, Ya-chen; Huang, Chiao-wen; Chang, S.C. (25 August 2016). "Young minister a bold attempt to solve government problems". Central News Agency. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  13. Hsiao, Alison (26 August 2016). "Programming expert to join Executive Yuan". Taipei Times. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  14. The China Post News staff, ″Cabinet to appoint minister to steer open gov't initiative″, "The China Post″, Retrieved 1 February 2017
  15. James Wang, ″Generation Gap a factor for Blue and Green Camps″, ″Taipei Times″, 1 February 2017
  16. Jake Chung, ″PROFILE: Audrey Tang: 100% made in Taiwan", ″Taipei Times", 1 February 2017
  17. Lin, Luang-sen; Chung, Jake (2 February 2017). "Wellington Koo and wife, Audrey Tang report assets". Taipei Times. Retrieved 2 February 2017.


  • Aker, Brian; Krieger, David; Wei-hung, Chen; Chih-jung, Chang; Chun-ying, Huang; Chih-pin, Lin; Ke-huan, Lin; Kang-min, Liu; Chung-han, Tang; Chien-ting, Weng (translators) (November 2003). 架設 Slash 社群網站 (Running Weblogs with Slash) (in Chinese). Taipei, Taiwan: O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-986-7794-22-2.

Further reading

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