julia high res_croppedJULIA GRACE

November 14, 2014 – Talk begins at 4:30 p.m., with a reception to follow

014 Sitterson Hall

“Lessons Learned from the Real World: Software Engineering”


Since collecting a couple of CS degrees from UNC, I’ve had five engineering jobs ranging from large companies (IBM Research) to very small startups.

The experiences I’ve had are very different from what I thought the “real world” would be like when I was in school, as well as what I thought when I was early in my career. I’ve learned that how to be successful in the post-college world is very different from how success is defined in school, or what I thought success was in my first couple jobs. In this talk, I’ll go through the lessons I’ve learned, what parts of my UNC CS education I’ve used, and the parts I haven’t.


Julia is the Head of Engineering at Tindie, the marketplace for indie hardware (Arduino, robots, drones and more). She is a veteran of several startups, holding roles from product manager to CTO. Before that, she was a research engineer at IBM Almaden Research, where she published eight peer reviewed original research papers and holds several patents. She spends her “free time” half-marathon running and sits on the board of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. You can find her on Twitter at @jewelia.

If you were unable to join us for Julia’s talk or want to watch it again, visit the Videos page.