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Thoughts of a Recent Graduate: Kelsey Huebner

Kelsey Huebner, Informatics BA 2012 at Microsoft headquarters; next to MS sign.

Kelsey Huebner graduated from the UI in 2012 with Informatics and Art BAs, as well as a Computer Science minor. While at Iowa, she took part in Prof. Juan Pablo Hourcade's HCI research; including work on his Open Autism Software project.

What was your favorite class in the computer science department?

HCI (Human-Computer Interaction). It was the first opportunity I had to come up with an application idea and work on it with a team. I learned how to prototype and think through usability from a designer and a developer approach. The class really prepared me for conceptualizing, designing and developing websites and eventually applications.

What did you get out of your research experiences?

I really began to understand empathy from the field work we did. My role was to work with children that the studies revolved around. I documented what they were doing and saying. It allowed me a glimpse into their lives and what their thought processes were. Then to prepare it all into a research paper I had to step back and understand how our applications could positively affect their lives. We also presented at CHI where I got to travel to Austin, TX and Paris! The critical thinking involved in the research paper and having to present and meet other professionals resonates even now with my current job.

What are you doing now in a professional capacity?

I moved to Seattle last summer and began working on the Xbox Developer Support Team at Microsoft. This past April I began a new position as a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft. I get to spread the word to developers about programming for Windows 10! Specifically I work with Microsoft's top developer partners to create the best Windows applications. It's really fun because I still program and work in application code but I also get to travel and host 'hack' events.

Can you tell us about an interesting project that you are currently working on?

Well, every month we host a Hack event or 'Hackfest'. I reach out to Microsoft specialists to present and work hands-on with our third party developers and publishers. For me it's really cool because I get to meet the Microsoft people creating the product and learn from them. We used to focus on Xbox but now it's all about Windows 10. Our goal is to have the top applications, like Hulu, released with all of the best features Windows 10 has to offer. I also get to travel for the events, we just returned from London two weeks ago and will be going to China soon!

Where do you hope to be in 10 years?

Microsoft CEO. Or at least a senior level program manager here. :) I really like the organization I am in because we are programmers but also get the opportunity to speak and present to other developers. If you watched the //build/ event, that was mostly people from my larger team presenting. I would really like to present at //build/ someday.

Other "Thoughts of Recent Graduates" at this link.