Dinner #1 on June 24, 2008, sponsored by Microsoft Research

Our first Seattle area Girl Geek Dinner took place on June 24, 2008 in Building 99 on the Microsoft Campus. We were having a roundtable discussion with Dorothy Nicholls, Randy Granovetter and Rebecca Black as speakers.

Event

Dorothy Nicholls
Senior Development Manager, Digital Media Group, Amazon

Dorothy Nicholls is a senior development manager at Amazon’s Digital Media group. Digital Media is a relatively new group at Amazon that launched Unbox (Video download), and DRM free MP3 download in 2007. Most recently her group introduced the revolutionary wireless reading device Kindle.

Dorothy has over 11 years of experience developing both large scale distributed eCommerce services, databases as well as consumer applications. She spent the first five of these years as a software developer and the last six years in technical leadership. During her nine years at Amazon, Dorothy has personally been involved or responsible for some of the major initiatives that visibly changed Amazon from launching Amazon internationally, moving Amazon’s eCommerce backend to service oriented architecture, Amazon Prime to launching external payments web services. Prior to Amazon, Dorothy worked at Oracle Corporation where she worked on large database applications for Nike and Boeing. Dorothy holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Brigham Young University.

Originally from China, Dorothy is an active board member of China Tomorrow Education Foundation, a non profit based in Seattle with a mission to improve rural education in China. She is also the occasional web master for the organization. Dorothy enjoys traveling, running, rock climbing, gardening, and reading books on her Kindle.

Randy Granovetter
General Manager for Innovations, Microsoft
IdeAgency

Randy Granovetter, the General Manager for Innovations, is spearheading Microsoft’s newly formed Innovations Team.  Her team’s charter is to champion innovation from across the company, developing community-based techniques and tools for sharing and capturing co-workers new ideas. With the collaboration and integration of feedback from executives, internal experts, and their peers, the IdeAgency provides the innovators with the website, training and support needed to grow their concept from the idea phase to proof of concept leveraging Microsoft platforms and tools.

Before joining Microsoft, Randy was the Founder and CEO of JABRA Corporation, President of Blyth Software Corporation, President of Digital Orchid, Vice President at Qualcomm for QUALCOMM’s Enterprise, Co-Branding and MVNO strategy development in Qualcomm Internet Services (QIS), the QUALCOMM division chartered with driving applications and services for the wireless internet.

Granovetter holds Master of Arts in Language development and Special Education and Bachelor of Science degrees in special education, elementary education and language development from Vanderbilt University.  She has received several industry awards including Star of the Industry by Computer Telephony Magazine and the Distinguished Woman Award by Telemarketing Magazine and Call Center Solutions, Order of the Long Leaf Pine in North Carolina presented by Governor Hunt, the MacUser Magazine Award for Desktop Publisher of the Year and a member of Kappa Delta Pi (Honor Society for Education).

Rebecca Black, Principal Test Manager
Microsoft Antimalware team

Rebecca Black is the Principal Test Manager of the Microsoft Antimalware team.  Her group creates the Antimalware engine and platform that protects hundreds of millions of users from viruses, rootkits, Trojans, bots, worms, spyware, adware and other malware.  The Microsoft Antimalware products include: Windows Defender, the Malicious Software Removal Tool, Windows Live OneCare, Forefront Client Security, and the Forefront suite of server products.  Microsoft Antimalware APIs are also called by a variety of applications, including Internet Explorer and Office applications.

She manages a large and diverse team of full time, contractor, and vendor employees in Redmond, China, and Australia.  She has sixteen years software development experience, thirteen years at Microsoft, eleven years of which have been in technical leadership.  Before Microsoft, Rebecca worked at Symantec, Peter Norton Group in the Product Support and Quality Assurance departments.

Rebecca has a Master’s Degree in Music from California Institute of the Arts.  She paid for college and graduate school by teaching clients how to use software and working as an independent software developer.

When not saving online users from bad guys, Rebecca enjoys scuba diving, reading, gardening, cooking, hiking, volunteering, and attending cultural events.  She is married and lives in Seattle with her husband, two cats and one very old dog.

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