Denae Ford · PhD Student, Computer Science · NC State University
Denae makes the software engineering community more collaborative for women.
Denae learned to code at Charles Herbert Flowers High School, a Science and Technology Magnet School in Maryland. She first learned the basics of HTML and CSS and started hacking her Myspace page. She felt empowered applying practical skills she learned at school to her real life. For her senior project, she built the mobile interface for an app, Evest Mobile, for real estate developers to determine if a property was worth the investment.
She went on to get her Bachelors in Computer Science at NC State. Professor Kristy Boyer noticed Denae’s aptitude and invited her to collaborate on JavaTutor, an Intelligent Tutoring System used to teach students Java. Denae measured the students behavior to determine if they were actively engaged and learning during the tutoring sessions. She taught herself Python in order to write scripts to asses the responses. Denae was eager to learn more and is currently pursuing a PhD in Computer Science with an interest in Software Engineering and Human Computer Interaction. She researches crowdlearning, specifically the defining the darknet of women on the popular coding site Stack Overflow. Denae wants to understand the reasons why female developers are not using the site to it’s full potential and suggest methods to create a more collaborative environment for women. Recently, Denae’s first paper, “Exploring the Frustration of Software Developers” was accepted to CHASE 2015 at ICSE 2015 Florence. This was a big moment for her, as she felt accepted by the community, empowered by her knowledge, and legitimized as a researcher.
Denae’s advice for wogrammers is to increase your network. “Find someone who is where you want to be, pick their brain and find out what it takes to get there”.
Check out her workshop here http://www.chaseresearch.org/workshops/chase2015