Author: Julie Weingarden Dubin
Paige Senal holding a basketball while standing in front of an NBA backdrop.
“I remember seeing ads on the subway celebrating the NBA’s 75th anniversary season. There were promotions all over the city to download the app, and I knew I helped build something that brought people joy.”—Paige Senal

When Paige Senal ’17 was a first-year student at the Whiting School, she never dreamed that in just six years, she would be building analytics for the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Senal is a software engineer on the Product Analytics Engineering team, where she designs, implements, and tests product analytics across the NBA’s digital properties, including the organization’s website and mobile and TV apps.

Her team’s work includes measuring what content viewers are watching and for how long on video, as well as analyzing what’s driving fans to subscribe to League Pass, the league’s premier subscription-based streaming service, which is available via the NBA app. “It provides fans the ability to watch live games and highlights and check scores, statistics, and standings all in one place, and it offers additional videos and series such as ‘Pass the Rock,’ which follows the league’s new generation of players,” she says.

Senal notes that 99% of fans around the world will never step foot in an arena, “which only underscores the importance of using the NBA app to deliver localized and in-language content that engages them year-round.”

She is particularly proud of her work on the NBA’s app redesign, which launched in 2022. “I remember seeing ads on the [New York City] subway celebrating the NBA’s 75th anniversary season,” says Senal.

“There were promotions all over the city to download the app, and I knew I helped build something that brought people joy.”

At Hopkins, Senal initially planned to major in environmental engineering. But then a required computer programming course resulted in a Eureka moment: “I was doing coding, and it was awesome,” she says. “I switched my major to computer science.”

In her junior year, attending the Grace Hopper Celebration in Computing—the world’s largest gathering of women technologists—proved to be yet another defining experience. “It was my Disney World for meeting people in the industry,” she says. “Sheryl Sandberg [Meta chief operating officer at the time] was a guest speaker. She said if you take anything away from this conference, it’s to form communities of women in engineering so you can lean on other women.”

“That changed everything for me. I needed to lean on others at Hopkins within my major to get myself through. I became co-founder and president of Women in Computer Science at JHU,” she says, adding, “My time at Hopkins gave me the tools to succeed and a sense of self that can’t be taken away.”