My name is Katie Smillie. I’m a California native living in Brooklyn. I'm currently a student at the School for Poetic Computation and I'm blogging about my experience here. I've been learning to code by building things that make me happy. I have been a product manager at Kitchensurfing and at Miso, a product marketer at a social ad startup, and a tech researcher at Forrester. I am also passionate about user research and wrote this blog post about why startups need to do more of it. In what feels like a past life, I worked on political campaigns for two amazing women, this one from Washington State in 2004 and this one from Massachusetts in 2006. I still believe that we need more females in elected office (among other places). I graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2005 with a bachelors in Economics and Political Science. I was also a sprinter on the track team. I appreciate the symmetry of opposing forces. I balance my competitive side as a runner with a spiritual yoga practice, healthy eating with periodic days of binging on these donuts, and frugality with spontaneous travel. Sometimes, I know my way around a kitchen.