Laurie started at SoftSource Consulting in 2014.
Master of Science in Computer Science
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
Five Questions with Laurie
When did you first start programming and with what language/computer and what did you like the most about this programming experience?
I started programming in BASIC on Apple IIc computers, which were the first computers my school ever had. I had so much fun learning skills on these new machines that I spent lunchtime and hours after school programming in our makeshift computer lab. That same year, I wrote a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style application on the Apple IIc and submitted it for an assignment in my English class. That was the first time I saw how a computer could be useful in other domains and not just a fun toy in and of itself.
Describe a project you’ve been involved with which you consider to be your greatest success so far. What made it so successful?
The project that I found the most successful personally was writing cross-platform apps for iOS and Android in C#. Using the experience I already had on the Microsoft stack to create apps that run on my iPhone was mind-blowing for me. The people on the project were really smart and good to work with, so we were able to ramp up as a new team to deliver an app from requirements to ship in a surprisingly short time. Another particularly interesting project was one funded by the Department of Defense about planning training for the military. In that project, I again got to work with a great team. When the time came for delivery, I stood in front of an audience of ~200 people, many in uniform, and presented a demo and explanation of our work. It was the largest group I ever had to demo for, and there is a video of it somewhere. But I’m not telling where.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in your career?
I’ve learned that people make a bigger difference than technologies. The team can make or break a project.
If computers and related technology didn’t exist, what do you think your career would be?
I would either be teaching or researching human behavior. Both of my parents were educators, so I think that’s in my blood. If I got tired of that, I would study how humans make decisions and why they choose to act the way they do.
When it’s time to turn off the computer, what do you do instead?
I knit; I transform yarn into scarves, hats, sweaters, and socks. I read, both fiction and nonfiction. I hang out with my husband. When I’m on a roll, I can knit, read, and hang out with my husband all at the same time.