Back in September (2017) I joined one of the leading tech companies: Microsoft. Coming from the startup world (Crate.io) I got to start in a newly formed group called CSE - Commercial Software Engineering.
The goal of this group is simple: solve the biggest challenges of customers to enable them to go further, higher, and bigger - and share the outcome. This is of course fairly independent of technology, but our center of expertise and resources can be found around Microsoft Azure (which is gearing up to support all kinds of languages, frameworks, OS, etc.). For me this is a great example of when goals align for the good of everyone involved: if a customer improves their business results by using Azure, Microsoft will also benefit. However as engineers we couldn’t care less, our goals are about impact - not sales. Also, our service is free (and fun).
What is an engagement?
Typically we will join customers/partners at their offices (it’s usually simpler to get access to stuff) to design and implement a prototypical solution. One limit we set ourselves is to focus on cutting edge technology and problems where all the people involved are learning something.
Typical areas involve:
- Data science, analytics, and machine learning
- DevOps / container stuff (Kubernetes, ServiceFabric, whatnot)
- Serverless aka Function as a Service
- Virtual or augmented reality
- IoT scenarios
- … sometimes even blockchain 😅
During and after these engagements we are all about a creative and fun environment to solve whatever business problems as well as collecting feedback on your experience with our products. Anything we can improve will be reported so we can provide a better service next time!
What happens afterwards?
After every engagement we try to create something reusable from the things we have learned or created. That could be a Jupyter notebook for data analysis, a blog post about training a machine learning model, or just a simple pull request to fix a bug in an open source framework or library. Entire open source projects have been known to come out of CSE as well:
(An even more exhaustive list is here).
We will do a lot more and different content in the future, so stay tuned!
Why write about this?
There are several reasons why this is a post and not a tweet or so. Firstly, I like the work that I do and I really love building things that help out other people. Since Microsoft lets me do that, I would like to have more of these engagements and maybe from lesser known sources (maybe you?). Let us know what we could solve to make your business better!
Secondly sharing is an integral part of all of this stuff and I will do that here in the category CSE. I’ll try to make these stories interesting and filled with technology and, if all goes well, the occasional Rust project 👌.
The best thing about working here are my colleagues, they are awesome and post just as interesting content as me. Here’s more, ranging from opera to IoT: