Educators & Parents
Share |
Maitland in front of computer, with a pink-haired guitarist playing in background.
Maitland Lederer
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Workplace: Harmonix Music Systems, Cambridge, MA
Education: BS, Electrical Engineering/Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hobbies: Improv, sketch comedy, guitar.
Fun Fact: She's paid to play video games at work one hour a week.

I work with artists and musicians to create software for music video games.

—Maitland Lederer

It's all about the music
Maitland is a network software developer at Harmonix, the creators of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. "Music is rad," says Maitland, "and technology is changing the way we interact with it. Music video games get people deeper into music without having to know how to play an instrument."

#1 job—make it fun!
"Our number one job is to make the game fun. We have to figure out, what will users like? What will they be frustrated by?" Maitland's favorite project so far has been Dance Central, which lets you try out cool dance moves. She recently tweeted: "I was just made fun of by a complete stranger for busting out my Dance Central moves on a street corner. It won't be the last time."

Artists, musicians, gamers, and engineers
Harmonix is a very social environment, and Maitland says that 90% of her job is talking to people. "One of the most interesting challenges we face is communicating ideas between groups of people who have very different backgrounds and expertise—artists, musicians, gamers, and engineers are all part of the mix."

What's her passion?
Collaboration and creative thinking. "I love my job because it involves solving interesting problems, working with smart, creative people, and making a product that I can be proud of. And I get to listen to music all day!"

Watch Maitland on YouTube!