Kara Ottewell

I moved from England to the United States in 1999 when I started working as a developer at Microsoft. Prior to that, I worked for a small software company which created the vehicle breakdown recovery service for the R.A.C., which is like the A.A.A.. I got into computer programming in the 1980s when I was writing experimental control and analysis software, as part of my Ph.D. in High Energy Particle Physics. I was a researcher at CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) near Geneva, DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) in Hamburg, and the University of Manchester. So technically I’m Dr. Kara, but I’m not a Time Lord – though I did regenerate in 2015. In October 2017 I moved fromMicrosoft to my current role, as a Software Development Manager at Amazon.

At Microsoft I worked in Developer Division on Visual Studio in various areas, ranging from source control integration, the core editor, VS Deployment Technology Group, the Windows 8 Tools team, then moved to the Connected Car team as Navigation Systems Dev Lead. Latterly I worked on the IoT Modern Industry Devices team, and the Windows and Devices Group. I was also a member of the GLEAM board. At Amazon I work in the MAKO Devices Team. And no, we don’t get free Prime membership.

I am a parent of two children; our son, 13, and daughter, 17. I have been married to my wife, Marian, for 21 years, and we have been together for 30 years. I’m a lesbian, and a trans woman. For the last three years I have attended the Lesbians Who Tech Summit in San Francisco, and was a panelist for LWT in Seattle, and at a previous WiT Regatta. I am a political activist, particularly with respect to LGBTQ and women’s issues.  I love playing guitar, performing in, and watching, musical theater and plays, karaoke singing, comedy, and have been MC at a charity show to raise funds for Clallam County Cancer Hospice for the last 5 years.