She started her college career in engineering and as was typical during that time, she was one of the only women in her engineering major. Ross ended up switching to a fledgling technical writing track in the journalism department during her 1987-88 school year. Ross graduated from Colorado State University in 1989 with a degree in Technical Communication and a concentration in Physics and Computer Science.
Ross' career in the video game industry began in 1994, starting as a producer working on PC sports games. In addition to the Halo franchise, she has worked on many other game titles including NBA: Inside Drive, Pandora’s Box, Zoo Tycoon, Dungeon Siege, Counter Strike, Gears of War, Jade Empire, Psychonauts, and Mass Effect.
Ross was listed in Fortune magazine's 2014 article "10 powerful women in video games", which noted that she was "responsible for defining the vision and leading the Halo franchise, which has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide" and had "helped grow the Halo franchise beyond gaming" with books, video series and TV series.
In October 2014, Ross appeared as a speaker at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, held in Phoenix, Arizona, presenting on "Technology and How It Is Evolving Storytelling in Our Entertainment Experiences". She has also made appearances as a speaker at GeekWire 2013 and Microsoft's ThinkNext 2015 in Israel.
Ross was also the lead speaker for Microsoft's presentation at the 2015 "E3" Electronic Entertainment Expo. Microsoft's Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, was reported in The Huffington Post as saying, "We opened the show with Bonnie. She's got such authenticity as someone who has been with Xbox a long time, running our biggest franchise and being a spokesperson for the platform, the industry and 'Halo.'"
Ross has taken a strong stance against the use of gendered insults on Xbox Live servers, claiming that lifetime bans would be issued to those making discriminatory comments. She has argued that game developers have a "personal responsibility" to avoid gendered stereotyping in their games.
Bonnie Ross is seen as a role model when it comes to women in gaming. She strives to increase the diversity within the gaming industry and lessen the male to female gap. She has often reinforced her position in hiring more female game developers so more women can find role models within the industry. Ross’s influence has already been seen within the Halo franchise with the increase of female protagonists. Also through speaking in many events involving women in science, technology, engineering, and math she has leveled the playing field and has been inspiring women to join the game development field.