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Computer Science trainee hired by Microsoft

Barbara Kudiess to be working by multinational once she finishes her degree

24/12/2018 - 08h54
Barbara Kudiess at Apple at WWDC

Barbara Kudiess at Apple at WWDC

As she watched the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), an annual conference for developers, from home, Barbara Kudiess dreamed to be there one day. That was back in 2014, the year she began her studies at PUCRS as a Computer Engineering major, at the School of Technology. Back then, she never thought that in the two years that followed, she would have the chance to be in California (USA) to see the recent developments of Apple at WWDC.

The opportunity came as she took part in the Brazilian Education Program for iOS Development (BEPiD), now known as Apple Developer Academy, an app development training program for Apple devices. This two-year program is at no charge and open for students enrolled in any academic programs. It consists of a total weekly workload of 20 hours. After two years, Barbara transferred to the Computer Science program. During this period, she learned programming logic for kids and designed two apps. Her dedication and performance earned her trips for the conferences in 2015 and 2016.

The experience and knowledge she gained added extra value to her résumé and, as a consequence, she got a position as a trainee at Microsoft, in Redmond (USA). “In early 2017, a PUCRS alumnus who now works at Microsoft paid a visit to the School of Technology to deliver a lecture. He talked about recruitment for internships and, at the end, I handed him my résumé”, reports she. Barbara was invited for a Skype conference and then, went to São Paulo for an interview at the company’s headquarters. “Maybe I just got a call back from Microsoft because of my previous experience with apps”, ponders she.

Windows experiences

Student shared experiences with colleagues from different countries

Student shared experiences with colleagues from different countries

Barbara joined the Windows team from Dec 2017 to Mar 2018. She worked at the group Windows and Devices, under the team User Experience Platform, as she implemented Microsoft’s new design, known as Fluent Design System. “My role was to create a new XAML control for UWP apps. I have created a control prototype and developed the project from scratch. I learned about the process of development and the tools (design, coding, testing, debugging).

Since the very beginning, she was embraced by the team and received equal treatment. Because of that, she was given more freedom and responsibilities. “I didn’t have a fixed schedule although I had to complete all the tasks I was assigned to. I had to learn a lot and solve many problems. ‘If people were with their eyes on their work and I asked them questions, that would be a distraction to them’, wondered she. I made many decisions all by myself, such as naming the methods used by app developers”, says she.

Responsibilities

At the age of 22, she worked for Microsoft's new design project

At the age of 22, she worked for Microsoft’s new design project

The 22 year old arrived at the company’s headquarters in the beginning of December as many of her colleagues would soon leave for the year-end parties. So, she took it all upon herself and tried to learn things on her own. “The team I took part in worked with a pretty complex code. I had to fill myself in and understand it in order to use it in my creations. I tried to develop as much as I can as people were on their breaks. I designed a prototype to be presented and, once I received feedback, I made the necessary adjustments”, says she.

She worked with people from several countries, such as Egypt, France and Argentina. In her view, this has expanded her horizons. She also had the chance to put in practice everything she learned while she was working on her degree in a company that is recognized all over the planet. “It’s been such an amazing experience. And the best part of it was that I was offered a job for after my graduation”, celebrates she. In February 2019, Barbara packed up to Vancouver (Canada), where she will be working until she receives her work visa for the USA.

That was the first time she lived alone. I needed to go to the grocery store, clean the house and use the bus since I did not have a car. In view of those experiences, she claims to be ready to leave home next year. “Having worked as a trainee had helped me see what life is like in a company. When I actually start working, I will know how it works, even if it is in another city”, says she. Although she is fluent in English, the biggest challenge for her was to formulate the thought and deliver her ideas in a different language. “Sometimes my interlocutors would speak a bit too fast and I had to keep up with them, but it’s just a matter of getting used to it”, complements she.