About Me

First things first. Why “Kousen IT”? My last name is pronounced like the relative (cousin), so my wife pronounces my company name like it was a member of the Addams Family.

My name is Ken Kousen, and I am the owner of Kousen IT, Inc., an S-Corporation that does software training and consulting. I’ve been teaching training courses and doing consulting and mentoring in the Java and XML worlds for about six years now, ranging from OO Concepts to Enterprise JavaBeans to Web Services.

I’m currently learning about a couple of open source projects in Java (Hibernate, Spring, Tapestry), while digging into Ajax and JavaScript, and making a big push into Ruby on Rails.

For those who don’t feel like visiting my company site, I am a Sun Certified Java Programmer, a Sun Certified Web Component Developer, a Sun Certified Business Component Developer, and an IBM Certified Enterprise Developer for WebSphere. I also was part of the inaugural class of Altova Certified XML Spy Engineers.

On the academic front, I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BS in Mathematics from M.I.T., an MA and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton, and an MS in Computer Science from R.P.I. I teach roughly one course a semester at Rensselaer at Hartford.

Finally, the subtitle “I teach the stuff — I didn’t say I could do it,” is pretty close to the same quote by Robin Williams from Good Will Hunting.

11 Responses to About Me

  1. curious says:

    Curious, why would a PHD in Aerospace Engineering want to shift careers to become an Internet Software Expert, Teacher … from what I hear, Aerospace Engineering is the place to be.

  2. kousenit says:

    That’s certainly a reasonable question and worth a decent response. Rather than answer in a comment, though, I think I’ll add a new post about this.

    Thanks again for your comment!

  3. sasi says:

    Hi, ken, Nice to know about your carrer shift. I am exactly opposite to your situation..
    have to take a step.

  4. Kalyan Tilak says:

    Hi Kounsen, its really good site to have some kind of knowledge on things which many developers don’t even care of. Really your qualifications and interests are damn good. Hope you would produce many more things which one can’t expect. The spring related answers are really good. Hope you can deliver more. See you.

  5. bibomedia says:


  6. Adam V says:

    Hi Ken,

    I want to thank you for keeping up a very interesting site. I’m a recruiter so I try to stay on top of technologies as best I can. Your Groovy and Grails writings are keeping me up to speed. Just wanted to say thanks! Also, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask… Do you know any SOA Architects with documented Groovy and Grails experience who would want to work a 6 month contract etirely from home? Thanks!


  7. I hope to learn from your wise training in this blog. One is learning all the time.

  8. Hussain Sabir says:

    Hello Mr Kousen,

    I enrolled for the Spring Training sponsored by my company and I have been informed that you would be taking sessions of our Spring Framework. Just out of curiosity I searched and found your blog. “Very Impressive”.

    I look forward to speaking with you on the Training, scheduled from 26th April.

  9. Ken Kousen says:

    Hey, thanks for visiting. I’m looking forward to the class. Be sure to say hi when we start next week. 🙂

  10. Alfredo Duran says:

    I’m impressed about your academic background. I think of you as a person that is very curious and has a thirst for knowledge. But I can’t help to think about the how you were able to study as much?. My wife said that you will have to be wealthy to be able to pay for an education like yours. I’m sorry to post this question here. You may deleted as you wish. How did you do it?

  11. Ken Kousen says:

    The answer is easier than you think. The two BS degrees I got as a double major which I completed in four years, so effectively I paid half as much for each degree as everybody else paid for one. The MA and Ph.D. degrees came during my four years of graduate school, where I had a fellowship for one year and was a teaching / research assistant the remaining years. That meant I made very little money, but at least it was coming toward me rather than away. The final MS in Computer Science I got at night while I was an employee of United Technologies, who paid for the whole thing.

    So my parents paid for my MIT education, which resulted in two degrees simultaneously. Princeton paid me to work while a graduate student, so I didn’t pay for that, and UTC paid for my R.P.I. degree which I earned while still a full-time employee.

    As you implied, I never could have afforded it all otherwise.

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