Debi Mishra, Engineering Manager & Site Leader – SQL IS Boston
What do you like best about working at Microsoft?
I’ve worked at Microsoft for 16+ years and have left and returned in between for a start-up that I had founded. Microsoft gives you a really big canvas to get your act onto the world stage. I have had the incredible opportunity to work on and ship seven new products or technologies in these years. The excitement of building new products, the technical challenges they offer, and their potential impact, get your creative juices flowing.
What does your group at NERD do, and why does it matter?
Today we are in a new world of data. We have seen rapid growth of computing devices and exponential increase in digital signals. Data-driven decision-making is getting pervasive and increasing data velocity means the time window to act is getting smaller. My group at NERD is working on advanced analytics – the intersection of Big Data, Machine Learning and High-Performance Numerical Computing. We build programming frameworks and experiment environment that allows for a natural expression of machine learning concepts and an elegant, yet powerful, means of scaling machine learning models from small, local, shared memory execution environments to large, remote, distributed memory systems.
What it is like working at Microsoft NERD?
NERD is like a mini Redmond campus – teams at NERD are from across various Microsoft product divisions. Being remote from the mother ship, teams here have a lot in common. Our group is a very close-knit team, works hard and finds time to enjoy team events together. Our team stands around the kitchen area for our Tuesday morning sync where we all share what we have been up to lately. And if it is a Monday, you are likely to find Anna’s home-baked cookies. Our team is rich in talent in parallel and distributed computing – which is an excellent foundation for the machine learning work we’re doing. Our team works closely with our broader AIP team in Redmond as well as with various Microsoft Research teams. The collaboration we have between research and product development is unique and super valuable.
What are your impressions of Boston?
I moved from Seattle to Boston in January 2013. Like Seattle, Boston is a great city culturally. Boston has an amazing history. Boston’s response to the marathon tragedy has been very special. But the roads here go in all kinds of directions and I am never sure in which magnetic direction I am headed. As a foodie, I find the lump crab cakes here are lot lumpier than Seattle.
When not working on machine learning, what do you do for fun?
I read a lot, love movies, follow my sports teams (Sounders FC, Seahawks, and the Indian national cricket team). I am a big-time foodie, and outside of picking interesting eateries, I often cook, especially goat meat. I’ve found the best Indian food stores in the city.