Jul 16, 2010

3 Years and What's Next

Today I would have completed 3 years at Microsoft, but I quit last month to pursue higher studies. I thought it might be a good time to just recollect the last 3 years and what has happened all around me before I start another wonderful journey in a foreign land. I started at Microsoft IT on 16th July 2007, initial 2 months were really good, we went through a new employee orientation program targeted at fresh grads. The program called LEAP ( LEAP to Engineering excellence Program) was started in 2007 and still continues till date for all new college hires at Microsoft. Last I heard this year it was going to be re branded in new form but with the same spirit - introducing college hires to the Microsoft development practice and culture.LEAP gave us opportunity to work on some of the cutting edge stuff done at Live Labs and also to make a lot of new friends at a diverse workplace. 

  • Project Volta
    • With this came my first project at Microsoft, building the Windows Live Address Book Service using  Volta - a developer tool set for creating multi tier web applications (kinda like GWT for .NET). I continued to work with the Live Labs Volta team in Redmond even after LEAP for a few months before the project was abandoned in 2008.
  • ABAPer
    • Soon after LEAP I joined the SAP Team at Microsoft IT, got trained in SAP HR and wrote code in ABAP for a few months.
    • At the end of 2007 I joined an internal Microsoft Talent Development Program called APEX (Accelerated Professional EXperiences). This allowed me to became a rotation software engineer and work in 4 different groups and roles for 6 months each over the next 2 years. This program also had regular courses on leadership, technical excellence and management. I graduated from APEX in Jan 2010.
  • Project ICE
    • As part of my first rotation in APEX I worked on ICE (Information Security Consolidated Event Management) We built the largest single instance SQL: Server installation on the planet with near real time reporting and analytics capabilities.
  • Mobile BI
    • Next I decided to change roles and became a PM with the Microsoft BI group. During this time we designed and developed technologies for extending Microsoft BI stack on mobiles. Part of the work we did was applied for protection under a US Patent in 2009.
    • Continuing to work on Mobiles I got an opportunity to work with the MNS group at Microsoft Research Bangalore. We worked on remote sensing using smartphones, part of the work was published at ACM Mobisys 2010 as PRISM.
    • During the summer of 2009 I got interested in Program Analysis and Verification, I worked on a new version of Code Analysis Tool for.NET with the RSE group at Microsoft Research and IST group at Microsoft IT. CAT.NET 2.0  was a completely new static analysis tool written using the MSR Phoenix Compiler tools to detect security vulnerabilities in .NET.
  • FeedStore
    • I came back from MSR Bangalore in Jan this year and worked on an internal product called FeedStore till 30th June which was my last day at MS. 
Where am I going Next ?

I am starting grad school this fall, joining NUS Singapore for PhD starting Aug 2010. 

Which Area ?

 I think I have finally figured out that Programming Languages and Compilers are something I really like and would want to work on similar area in future.

What else was up last 3 Years ?

Well a lot, tried to write a tech blog for a while - it was called Createlf. We hit Digg front page 3 times before we faded into oblivion.

Learnt boxing while working at MSR Bangalore and hope to continue practice. 

Met a lot of wonderful people and made many new friends. Some how many people who were close to me have a tendency to quit their jobs and start up companies. Mayank (friend from Microsoft IDC) at Gurgaon, Prasanna (friend from NITW) at Hyderabad and Bhavish (friend from MSR) at Bangalore.I wish them all the best and success in their endeavors. May all of you get million dollar exits or huge IPOs. I am sure we all wanna be tech stars ...