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CITP Seminar: Denae Ford Robinson – The Next Generation of Software Developers

Tuesday, April 12, 2022
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


Photo Denae Ford

Video available here.

Microsoft is home to the world’s largest developer communities and ecosystems with Azure, GitHub, and Visual Studio. Thus, having sustainable and inclusive communities is of strategic importance as it has the potential to transform society by enabling more people to develop software. Developers in these communities and others (e.g., Stack Overflow, YouTube, Twitter) often intersect aspects of their professional work with their personal life on social media platforms which allow them to feel more comfortable engaging. Therefore, understanding how developers operate at these intersections helps practitioners to better prepare for the evolution of online professional communities and continue to bridge its enterprise and consumer markets. In this talk, we will cover recent research on evolving developer communities and outline opportunities on how we can usher in the next generation of software developers by fostering healthy and inclusive communities.


Denae Ford Robinson is a senior researcher at Microsoft Research in the SAINTes group and an affiliate assistant professor in the Human Centered Design and Engineering Department at the University of Washington. Her research lies at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and Software Engineering. In her work she identifies and dismantles cognitive and social barriers by designing mechanisms to support software developer participation in online socio-technical ecosystems. She is best known for her research on just-in-time mentorship as a mode to empower welcoming engagement in collaborative Q&A for online programming communities including open-source software and work to empower marginalized software developers in online communities.

She received her B.S. and M.S. in computer science from North Carolina State University. She also received her Ph.D. in computer science and graduate minor in cognitive science from North Carolina State University. She is also a recipient of the National GEM Consortium Fellowship, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and Microsoft Research Ph.D.Fellowship.

Her research publications can be found under her pen name ‘Denae Ford’. More information about her latest research can be found on her website:

Co-sponsored by:

Human-Computer Interaction at Princeton