Denisse Osorio de Large wants girls to know one important thing about a career in computer science: It's right next door to magic.
"This is an amazing career," says Denisse, a Cerner Corp. executive. "Programming is the closest thing there is to magic. You can create something out of nothing and solve really meaningful problems with it."
At Cerner, she uses the power of programming to improve people's health and wellness. In her role in Population Health Engineering, she oversees design of solutions that focus on giving people access to their healthcare data and encouraging healthy behaviors.
Originally from Cali, Colombia, Denisse has dedicated her career to sharing the power of programming both at work and in the community. She began her career as a software engineer focused on web applications at a local engineering firm. In 2004 she joined Cerner, spending several years delivering the company's software in multiple languages and gaining experience with globalization and translation of software systems. She also worked in internal education and revamped the company's technical onboarding program before taking on her current role.
Denisse has a passion for giving back to the community and wants to be a strong role model for her daughters.
"I am the cofounder and chapter leader of the Kansas City chapter of Girl Develop It, a national nonprofit organization that provides affordable programs for adult women interested in learning software development. The chapter has over 500 members and has offered multiple technical classes, many of which I teach myself."
Denisse also has led Spanish-speaking “Pastelitos & Programación” (Programming & Cupcakes) for young girls in the community through Girl Scouts as well as organized and led Hour of Code events at a local elementary school and at Cerner to help kick off the #GirlsinTechKC movement.
Still, spending quality time with her daughters and her husband is her top priority.
"We enjoy spending time outdoors and cooking as a family," Denisse says. "I also enjoy local painting classes, which I attend with friends several times a year.
Whether you're a student just beginning to explore career opportunities or a seasoned veteran of the workforce, Denisse says it's never too late to get involved.
"This field needs problem solvers, people who are willing to think outside of the box and bring different perspectives," Denisse says. "I think people believe that only super geeks or super nerds can be successful in this field, and that is absolutely not the case."