From drones to smart plants: Guada Casuso lets ideas take flight by cultivating her obsessions –

From drones to smart plants: Guada Casuso lets ideas take flight by cultivating her obsessions

Casuso graduated and went to work for several tech companies, including an editorial company where she helped architect an infrastructure to digitize publications and processes. It was there that she realized she’s built to create.

“Assembling and creating things is in my DNA. I find technology so fascinating because it allows me to never stop learning,” she said.

Assembling a community

Casuso joined Microsoft in 2010 as part of its evangelism team for cloud-based adoption. She was excited about the job, she said, because it would allow her to use her knack for creating solutions to help partners and startup companies find ways to strengthen their operational infrastructures using cloud and application platforms.

In her new role, she was constantly reminded that creating goes beyond technology. As a female engineer in Latin America, she decided to develop a space for women in tech at Microsoft called Mujeres en Tecnologia. The organization began in Argentina and Uruguay but expanded to other Spanish-speaking countries.

“As a woman, I realized early on that the idea that technology was only a man’s field was a terrible misconception. It’s such a broad space that allows for anyone to tap into their interests. There are so many parts that are complementary and creative for women to take part,” she said. “Plus, it is our natural gift to connect things that aren’t necessarily related.”

While Mujeres en Tecnologia was developed to create a community that would offer career advice for women at Microsoft, Casuso was surprised by what it revealed. “I learned so much by listening to other women,” she said. First, she found that participants had varied priorities in their careers. Some aspired for leadership roles; others prioritized flexibility.

“It became a place for women to discuss situations that were relevant to others in the group,” said Casuso. For example, for those who were trying to regain their footing after returning to work from maternity leave, the group offered them a safe space to share concerns and tips with one another.

Hands working on a drone that is sitting on a table

Facilitating and advocating for women and girls in technology remains a passion and a focus. For instance, Casuso has worked with DigiGirlz, a Microsoft program in support of middle and high school girls interested in technology careers.

“It’s fun to expose them to different aspects of technology and show them it’s not only programming,” she said. “Ultimately, women and girls do well in tech because they bring about the creativity.”

Taking technology to new heights

In a previous Microsoft role, Casuso worked with tech partners in Mexico that specialized in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). She went on to partner with the leading manufacturer of drones, which is when she became a bona fide fan of drone technology.

Along with two former colleagues, Casuso created the drones chapter of The Garage about two years ago. Through the chapter, which they participate in outside of their regular jobs, employees learn drone assembly, experience the world through FPV (first person view), learn drone programming, and study how to use drone hardware platforms to program mobile applications.

“We manage activities, provide a space for drone technology updates, offer flight tutorials, and teach sessions outside of the Microsoft community on piloting a drone. Everyone thinks they are easy to fly, but it takes a certain amount of skill,” said Casuso, a certified drone pilot. “Plus, we educate members and nonmembers on current drone tech aerial regulations.”

The chapter, which Casuso leads, also releases videos about drone tech on Microsoft’s Channel 9 and works with local partners to lead annual drone races during Microsoft’s Family Day.

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