If you would like to be listed here send your picture and Bio to Phillip.Nordwall@wwu.edu
2009 BS Graduate.
I originally started at Western thinking I would be a journalism major, but changed to computer science after I took a CSCI class and realized that programming was pretty cool. While at Western, I interned as a developer for Vitech Business Group, a supply chain management consulting firm in Bellingham, and as a program manager at Microsoft. The internship at Microsoft turned into a full-time job and now I work as a program manager in the Windows Live team at Microsoft. Being a program manager is great because I get to help plan what the team builds from the ground up and follow my product through each stage of development until it's shipped.
I really enjoyed my time in the CS Department because it felt like I was part of a supportive community that wanted me to succeed: the professors and department support staff were always there to answer questions when I needed help and the camaraderie of my fellow students in the lab made it easier to get through difficult projects. I learned so much during my time in the CS department and would not be where I am now without the department and its faculty.
2003 BS Graduate.
After graduating from WWU in 2003 I began my career as a consultant at Slalom Consulting. Slalom is a local consulting firm headquartered in Seattle and specializes in management and technology consulting for many of the most successful companies in the world. I love consulting because I am able to work on a wide variety of projects for exciting clients that allows me to continually challenge myself and expand my knowledge as a software engineer and consultant. In the last 7 years I've been lucky to be involved in Slalom's growth from a small consulting firm with one office and less than 100 consultants to one with 8 offices and over 1,000 consultants nationwide.
My current roles is as the National Mobility Development Lead which involves helping support all our national markets build enterprise mobile solutions for our clients. Mobility is a hot topic, both commercially and within the enterprise. We are helping clients manage the influx of commercial grade mobile devices that are outpacing more traditional enterprise solutions and creating enterprise mobile software applications which allow clients and their employees to move information and tasks away from their desks and into their hands, wherever they may be.
2006 BS Graduate.
For the past 3 years I’ve been working at the Xbox - Microsoft focusing on developing services to put Games, MapPacks, Avatars, and other Downloadable Content onto XboxLive.
WWU’s CS Internet Studies department helped me get me an internship at Home Port Learning Center in Bellingham creating a database and a website for the faculty to track student grades and attendance and print out report cards and status charts. With this experience I was lead down a path of database jobs bringing me to my position today.
1995 MS Graduate.
My classmates at WWU are among the brightest and most successful people I've met. I've had excellent luck finding interesting software development positions since graduating from WWU.
At Widevine Technologies I'd been helping to build software for securely delivering high-quality movies to any device (e.g., computers, TVs, iPhones and iPads). Google recently acquired Widevine so I'm now at Google, continuing to build on the same vision and additionally helping YouTube, Android and Google TV projects. Software development is continually challenging and rewarding. It's satisfying seeing feature-length movies beginning to appear on YouTube and knowing I played a small part in the effort.
2005 BS Graduate.
Since graduating from WWU, I've worked as a software development engineer (SDE) on several projects at Microsoft, including media portability and encryption, and Xbox OS (Xenon). I've been lucky to work on teams with several other WWU alumni, and we are well represented in Microsoft engineering. Prior to graduating, I had an internship at Microsoft in Windows Core OS and a research internship working on wireless sensor networks at the Oregon Graduate Institute, and was accepted into the graduate program at the University of Washington.
My education at WWU gave me the strong foundation in computer science that has allowed me to work on platforms from sensors to mobile phones to Xbox to servers, and with a wide variety of software tools - some of which weren't even invented when I graduated!
2011 BS Graduate.
While at Western, I completed a summer internship with Liberty Mutual as a software developer, and then accepted a full-time position. I am now working in a rotational program within the company which allows me to rotate among offices throughout the country and get exposed to different areas of the company’s technical infrastructure. Not only do I write code, but I also do things like requirements analysis and software testing.
I really enjoyed the variety of material Western’s CS program offers as well as the availability of the professors. I was exposed to many different languages and technologies which has really helped me become more adaptable in different work environments. The CS professors always made themselves available to students, and I always felt comfortable going by a professor’s office to ask questions. Since the CS professors know many students on a first name basis, I didn’t feel like another faceless name in the crowd!
2010 BS Graduate.
I came from Japan to study CSCI at Western and got a job at Rakuten, Inc (one of the top 10 largest web companies in the world) before I even graduated. Choosing CSCI at Western was the best choice for me and the material that I learned has been directly related to my daily tasks at work. I loved my time at WWU! The atmosphere at the department is friendly and welcoming. All the professors made as much time as possible for me and were there for me when I had questions.
I'm currently a PhD student at the University of Washington working on building tools for processing natural language in social media (e.g. Twitter). We're trying to extract events people are talking about in order to automatically answer questions, for example "what new movies are coming out this month", or "what concerts are people talking about which are happening in Seattle tomorrow". After graduating from WWU I worked for a little while as a software developer at Microsoft before deciding to go back to grad school. As an undergrad I loved the close-interaction which was possible with the faculty in the CSCI dept. at WWU. I also liked the faculty's dedication to educating and mentoring; they really bring a lot to the table in terms of experience and connections, providing many excellent opportunities for students.
2007 BS Graduate.
Right out of college I was able to get a contracting job writing code to test Bluetooth (you know, those headsets) at Microsoft. Since then I’ve been hired on full time and have a very competitive skillset I can use for the rest of my life. In my spare time I write software to help friends and family however I can. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the excellent computer science program that Western offers!