I sat down recently with Sekhar to discuss his career, the development group he manages and what his team looks for in future employees. Some of the highlights from that conversation:
Where in Bing do you work?
I work in AdCenter online advertising platform and my group develops the Business Intelligence Core for our AdExpert product. This is the publishing platform for MSN and our other Microsoft-owned content sites. The main features we work on are taking the millions of rows of data that goes through our Display Advertising platform each hour and running the data through our internal map reduce grid to score and report out results to our publishing and platform partner groups.
Did you have any perceptions of Microsoft before the interview process?
I had been aware of Microsoft from an early age and was very attracted to the company given the sheer volume and breadth of the interesting technical problems they are working on. Joining directly into the online advertising space, versus into another part of the company has allowed me to work on online services for my entire career here.
What it is like to work for AdCenter?
I love the collaborative environment we have here! The Display Advertising team is very agile and it’s easy for individual developers to see their ideas implemented. There is not a dictatorial top down feature decision making process here.
What’s the most exciting thing about your work group?
From my perspective the huge sets of data that we deal with on a daily basis is a really interesting challenge from a scale and performance perspective. There’s a huge opportunity for Display Advertising to drive a lot of revenue for Microsoft on the internet and we have to solve these challenges in order to capitalize on this opportunity.
What are some of the key things you are looking for in your open job?
This is a interesting role that combines a background in C# and data processing with experience using database technology. Data modeling with good SQL skills is more important from a database perspective than knowing MS SQL Server. More than the technical specs however, I’m looking for an energetic developer with a passion for data problems on a massive scale.
What is critical for your new hire to accomplish in the first six months?
Very fluid I imagine. At first he or she will be focused on ramping up with our systems and understanding the platform. We use a lot of proprietary tools and because of our Agile methodology there are daily opportunities to learn and contribute to code that ships.
What is the next role for someone who is hired into this role?
Because of the emphasis at the data and database layer, this is a really great role for anyone wanting to focus on online systems long term at Microsoft. The work this person will being doing with C# and .net and our map reduce grid Cosmos will be very transferable to the MSN or Bing Search product groups as well. That would be one path or they could become a technology expert in the BI space and apply that specialization to other BI groups around Microsoft!
I’d like to thank Sekhar for sitting down with me and if you have interest in the role, you can take a look for yourself at the job here!