"I'm half software developer, half production support."
From playing with computers as a kid to helping Elsa (yes, Elsa from Frozen!) build ice castles, Kelsey Hurley found a way to combine her love of art and computer science. As a Technical Director at Disney Animation, Kelsey wears two different hats; as she would put it, “I'm half software developer, half production support.” Wearing her two impressive hats, she works with a rockstar team to design and dazzle up tools that Disney artists use to help create their art for feature animation films.
She also maintains the pipeline between departments, so she gets to see the magical final result that eventually gets translated to movie screens. We hope they eat popcorn during this process too! Her team also helps artists troubleshoot and debug animation issues, which often results in some pretty funny accidents.
Kelsey: “We were working on [Wreck-It] Ralph, and there was a time when the characters are supposed to sit on a monorail. The characters would get on the monorail, and the monorail would take off without them, leaving them on the tracks. It was my job to figure out why this was.”
We would love to see a Disney animation blooper reel! There are a million reasons why Kelsey’s job is awesome - for starters, she literally works for the place that built the Magic Kingdom. But Kelsey’s favorite part of her job is the challenge,
Kelsey: “Everyday is different. There are always problems to be solved or new ideas to look into, and there are new challenges that present themselves everyday. So, no one knows what to fully expect and that keeps it incredibly interesting.”
Kelsey has one piece of advice for all you blinkers exploring tech,
Kelsey: “Keep an open mind. Just because you want to go into a technical route doesn't mean you're tied to just tech alone. Tech can be combined with so many other fields - your options are limitless.”
We couldn’t agree more!