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Denae Ford Robinson

2023 UX Speaker Series

Denae Ford Robinson

Denae Ford Robinson

Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research

MARCH 3, 2023
11:30 A.M. - 12:20 P.M.

The Evolution of Developers Communities

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, I 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. I will also cover the roles of researchers and research opportunities at Microsoft Research.

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 Online Communities and Empirical Software Engineering. Her latest research investigates open source software as a resource for the broader society, trust in AI code-generation tools, and how to empower the next generation of software developers. 

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,



The UX Speaker Series is hosted Fridays in winter quarter by the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. Presentations are open to the public.

Depending on the speaker's preference, a recording will be posted to this webpage after the event. View the full schedule at