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Rebecca Parsons

Chief Technology Officer

I am the chief technology officer at ThoughtWorks, with more experience than I care to admit across a range of industries and systems. My technical experience includes leading the creation of large-scale distributed applications and the integration of disparate systems. Separate from my passion for deep technology, I am a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. Committed to increasing the number of women in coding and STEM fields, I have served on the board of CodeChix and acted as an advisor to Women Who Code, and I recently joined the Board of Trustees for AnitaB.org. I was also chairwoman on the Agile Alliance Board of Directors for four years and served the organization over a total of six years.

I am also a frequent speaker at industry events including Collision Conference, Web Summit, YOW!, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and more.

Before coming to ThoughtWorks, I worked as an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Central Florida where I taught courses in compilers, program optimization, distributed computation, programming languages, theory of computation, machine learning and computational biology. I also worked as a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory researching issues in parallel and distributed computation, genetic algorithms, computational biology, and nonlinear dynamical systems.

In 2018 I was honored to receive the prestigious Technical Leadership Abie Award, presented by AnitaB.org, celebrating a woman who led or developed a product, process, or innovation that made a notable impact on business or society.

I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Economics from Bradley University, a Master's of Science in Computer Science from Rice University and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rice University. I have also co-authored “Domain-Specific Languages,” “The ThoughtWorks Anthology,” and “Building Evolutionary Architectures.”

The Interview

I came to find ThoughtWorks by

I was referred by a friend that I had known for years. I spent lots of time asking him everything that was wrong with the company to find out if I'd fit. When I had my interview with the founder, Roy Singham, he told me more that was wrong. I decided that meant I was going to some place that I could stay. That was December of 1999, so I guess I was right. 

My geeky passion is

Programming languages of all kinds. 

With ThoughtWorks, I've visited

Canda, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, India, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Mexico, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and I am sure there are others. Haven't been yet to Antarctica.