Paul G. Allen School Leadership Seminar Series

CSE 390L, Winter 2019


Tuesdays, 1:30-2:20, Guggenheim 218
Instructors: Ed Lazowska / Dan Grossman
A one-credit (CR/NC) seminar series


The Paul G. Allen School Leadership Seminar Series, CSE 390L, is a one-credit (CR/NC) seminar series, primarily targeted at upper-division CSE undergraduates, that brings CSE alumni and friends to campus to describe how to be effective in a startup, small company, large company, or less common environment. Our guests will discuss topics such as:

  • What do you need to know in order to succeed, that you don't learn in your classes or during an internship?
  • How do you position yourself to work on interesting projects?
  • In a large company, what strategies can make you influential, vs. a cog in a wheel?
  • What is life like in a startup?
  • If your goal is to start and grow your own company, where do you begin?
  • What are the pros and cons of less common career options, such as teaching high school computer science?
  • Why might you choose graduate school vs. tech industry employment after graduation?
These should be great, informative, interactive sessions. This seminar has been very well received during its past offerings (2011-2018). But it's up to you - you need to make it interactive!

Course requirements

Regular attendance, active participation. (Attendance will be taken periodically.) Please read up on the individual and his/her employer(s) in advance of each course session. Think of our guests as "postcards from your future." Come to class prepared to take advantage of these alums.

Course email archive

Send email to course members by using the address cse390l_wi19 at

The archive of email is available here.

The lineup

Tuesdays, 1:30, Guggenheim 218
Date Guest(s) Experience
January 8 Recent alums:
   Karan Goel, 2016 UW Computer Science B.S.
   Erin Peach, 2015 UW Computer Science B.S.,
      2017 UW Computer Science M.S.
   Karan Singh, 2016 UW Computer Science B.S.,
      2017 UW Computer Science M.S. (Intern) -> Google (Intern) -> Madrona Venture Labs (Intern) -> Google (Intern) ->
   Mattermark (Intern) -> Google (SDE)
Enlearn (Intern) -> Microsoft (Civic Tech Fellow) -> VISA (Intern) -> Microsoft (Intern) -> (SDE)
Kent School District (Intern) -> Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Intern) -> Microsoft (Intern) ->
   Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Intern) -> Institute for Systems Biology (Intern) -> Neurala (Intern) ->
   Hulu (Intern) -> Allen School (Predoctoral Instructor) -> Microsoft (SDE)
January 15 Katie McCorkell, 2013 UW Psychology B.S.,
   2015 UW Computer Science B.S.
WhitePages (Intern) -> Twilio (Intern) -> Facebook (Intern) -> Facebook (SDE)
January 22 Kurtis Heimerl, 2007 UW Computer Engineering B.S.,
   2013 UC Berkeley Ph.D., 2014 UC Berkeley Postdoc
Slides: pptx pdf
Amazon (Intern) -> Google (Intern) -> Microsoft Research India (Intern) -> Range Networks (SDE) ->
   Endaga (Founder/CEO) -> Facebook (through acquisition of Endaga) -> Allen School faculty
January 29 Krista Davis, 2005 UW Computer Science B.S.
SRI (SDE) -> Google (Senior SDE) -> Girls Who Code (SIP Teacher) -> Hillary for America (SDE) ->
   Groundbase (Chief Architect / Co-Founder)
February 5
Michelle Lim, 2013 UW Computer Science B.S.,
   2013 UW Economics B.A.
Microsoft (Explorer Intern) -> Tableau (Intern x 2) -> Tableau (SDE) ->
   thePlatform / Comcast Technology Solutions (SDE) -> JP Morgan Chase (Cybersecurity Engineer)
February 12
Sergey Karayev, 2009 UW Computer Science B.S.,
   2015 UC Berkeley Computer Science Ph.D.
Zillow (Intern) -> Artsy (Intern) -> Adobe (Intern) -> Gradescope (Co-founder)
February 19 Sylvia Tashev, 2011 UW Computer Science B.S.
Slides: pptx pdf
AmazonFresh (Intern) -> AmazonFresh (SDE) -> Amazon (SDE)
February 26 Jason Tan, 2006 UW Computer Engineering B.S.
Slides: pdf
Boeing (Intern) -> Zillow (SDE) -> Optify (SDE) -> BuzzLabs (CTO) -> Sift Science (CEO and Co-Founder)
March 5 Alex Loddengaard, 2008 UW Computer Engineering B.S.
Slides: pdf
TRW (Intern) -> Northrop Grumman (Intern) -> KB Home (Intern) -> Cellarspot (Founder) ->
   Redfin (Intern) -> Google (SDE) -> Cloudera (SDE) -> Atlassian (Developer Ecosystem) ->
   MemCachier (Co-Founder) -> Innovation Endeavors (Entrepreneur in Residence) ->
   Deep Signal (Founder) -> Loddy LLC (Contract Software Engineer) -> Confluent (Solutions Architect)
March 12 Mid-career alums:
   Margaux Eng, 2004 UW Computer Science B.S.,
      2004 UW Foster School B.A.
   Tim Prouty, 2006 UW Computer Engineering B.S.
Graphics Server Technologies (Intern) -> Intel (Intern) -> Amazon (8 roles in 14+ years)
Isilon Systems (SDE -> Software Engineering Manager -> Director of Engineering) ->
      Uber (Seattle Engineering Site Lead) -> Convoy (VP of Engineering)