We’ve all been there. Talking with old friends or new acquaintances about your career as a software engineer, and those magical words pop into the conversation: “Bro… I have an idea for this app…” Much to the surprise and chagrin of many aspiring Zuckerbergs, success comes from a heck of a lot more than just a good idea.
I’ve had a few friends ask me what my journey to Microsoft was like and why I chose to work here. Microsoft, like the Yankees and black licorice, is one of those “love it or hate it” kind of things (I fall emphatically into the latter camp for both of those other two). Everyone has reasons or experiences that make them feel one way or the other. As for myself, I’ve really enjoyed working at Microsoft, so I thought I’d document a little bit of my journey and why I ended up where I did.
John Wooden was not only one of the greatest coaches of all-time (10 National Championships in 12 seasons at UCLA, 7 of those consecutive) and a great human being, but he had a gift with words. His many one-liners and famous sayings have since become known as “Woodenisms.” Here are some of my favorites:
Player positions in the NBA have become a rather fluid concept. Teams like the Warriors with their “Lineup of Death” have shaken the traditional mindset of the basketball world. We wanted to be able to build out a clustering model that used a player’s statistics to identify the player’s “true position.” When we say “true position,” we mean the position the player plays most alike. While LeBron James could be listed at just about any position on the floor, we wanted to know what his stats told us. By creating an unsupervised clustering model, players would be grouped together with other players of a similar statistical model.
For one of my courses at the University of Utah, we did an experiment where we logged everything we did during a specified timespan. We then compared our personal data with those of the participants in the 2014 ATUS Experiment. These are my findings, presented in a visualization with Power BI:
In 2016, I had the opportunity of working with the WDG GS Data Insights team at Microsoft. While there, I was given the task of automating the process of taking action on international customer feedback. Because Windows 10 gets such a high volume of feedback from its users, a lot of valuable information sits idly in a database without anyone being able to act on it. Of course, there is always a lot of junk to sift through and LOTS of duplicated pieces of feedback, which made the challenge of automating the process even more interesting.