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Joy Wilson

College of Engineering
Imageing & Printing Group, Hewlett-Packard Company, Boise, ID.
Software Engineer

Home Town: Richland, Washington

  • Biography

    Hewlett-Packard Web site: 

    Professional Profile: 

    Joy is a native of Richland, WA. With regard to her early interests, Joy says, "Math and science have always been interesting for me.  My father was an engineer and so I also wanted to be an engineer.  I took my first computer science course my sophomore year in high school and loved the programming.  As a result, I decided to become a computer engineer.  I also had a lot of encouragement from my math and science teachers.  I attended the University of Idaho's JETS program (a week-long summer program for high school students interested in engineering) the summer before my senior year.  During my senior year I had an internship doing software development at a local high-tech company where my boss also gave me a lot of encouragement."

    "I really felt that the University of Idaho had the strong engineering program I was looking for."

    "When I started looking at colleges, I realized that computer engineering was more hardware-focused and I wanted to focus on writing software, so I decided to major in computer science.  But, I was looking for a school that was both affordable and had a good engineering program.  From my time at JETS I loved the campus and after talking with several students and professors, I really felt that the University of Idaho had the strong engineering program I was looking for."

    No surprise -- Joy ended up attending the University of Idaho where she received a B.S. Computer Science degree in 1998. In addition to her academic pursuits, she found time to be involved with the Nazarene Church college group, Campus Crusade for Christ, and intramural sports. "I participated in volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, soccer, and softball.  I also enjoyed swimming laps at the pool, riding my bike, and rollerblading.  During my first two years I was involved in leadership activities in my dorm."

    "An internship opportunity with Hewlett-Packard set the direction of Joy's career."

    Joy is a 1998 graduate of the University of Idaho receiving a B. S. degree in Computer Science.  Commenting on her time here she says, "I received an excellent education at the University of Idaho and also invaluable interviewing and internship opportunities with top companies in my field. The full time job I now have at Hewlett-Packard was offered to me at the end of a summer internship. I was able to arrange the internship through on-campus interviews."

    About making the transition from the academic to professional ranks, Joy noted, "The senior projects in the Computer Science program really helps prepare students for the real world." Since graduating Joy has been working for Hewlett-Packard developing software for the LaserJet printer product family including drivers, installers, and software that gives the user the status of their print jobs and provides access to the printer's internal web pages.  She is currently working on software that facilitates printing of marketing material in-house instead of sending it off to a print shop. "I particularly enjoy the user interface aspect of software development. That's where I feel like I most contribute to a better, more enjoyable customer experience."

    Joy is a full time telecommuter working from her home in Oregon.

    For the first few years of her professional career, Joy worked in HP's office complex in Boise, ID,  but she has recently taken advantage of a still somewhat uncommon work arrangement facilitated by modern technology.  "I actually telecommute full-time.  I have an office set up in my home in Oregon and I travel back to Boise only four or five times a year for various classes or meetings.  I think this is one of many areas that makes software engineering a great field for women who desire to balance their work and family life.  Telecommuting benefits me because I get to be home, am able to more easily work around my husband's odd work hours, and get to enjoy beautiful scenery while I'm working.  It benefits HP because I have fewer distractions, and I'm a lot more productive."

    Like most others in her field every day offers different challenges.  "My day is definitely not like many engineers' typical day since I get to work from home.  I probably spend about 2/3 of my day working on code.  That includes designing, writing unit tests, writing new code, testing, debugging, and writing documentation.  How much I do of each of those depends on where we are in the lifecycle of the project. The other 1/3 of my day is spent discussing with my team via email, instant messenger, or on the phone.  I call into all of my meetings, which amounts to about 5 hours a week.  Working from home gives me the flexibility to take breaks throughout the day, go for a walk, play with my dogs, and clear my thoughts, which really benefits my work."

    March 2008

    The views expressed on this page are those of the individual being profiled and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the University of Idaho or the employer. References to specific organizations and companies does not constitute endorsement of their products or services by the University of Idaho.

    Copyright © 2008 University of Idaho Board of Regents

An internship opportunity with Hewlett-Packard set the direction of Joy's career.