Bing can add rich geospatial capabilities to your career

My name is Harish Jayanti – I am a development manager on the Bing Platforms team. I have been in Microsoft since 1997, building large-scale web services for Encarta.com, Virtual Earth/Bing Maps, and now Bing Platforms.

 

The Bing Platforms team’s mission is to “accelerate the Bing team” by building the platforms for relevance and feature work, taking care of performance, scalability, cost, and runtime constraints. The Platforms team builds various large scale distributed systems that serve search results at a scale of thousands of queries per second, from thousands of servers, in a matter of milliseconds. In addition to laying the foundation for search, we use our engineering skills to innovate in advanced information-retrieval algorithms, massive scalability, high performance web services, and large-scale applications.

 

The team that I manage is the Bing Geospatial Platform team. The team builds rich location and spatial services that can be used by the end-to-end OSD stack and enables relevance and engagement improvements for all location based scenarios in OSD. With the skyrocketing increase of search traffic from location-aware devices, adding rich geospatial capabilities to the Bing Platform and making location a first-class citizen across the end-to-end Bing stack has become a top priority.

 

Working in the geospatial and location-based services space is very exciting as it is a fast moving area with many interesting engineering and algorithmic challenges. Some of the problems that our engineers are currently tackling include building a rich geospatial graph containing all the entities that we know of in the physical world, deeply integrating the geospatial graph with the web graph, and building a large-scale extremely low-latency spatial search service. Writing algorithms that (a) create semantic and spatial relationships across hundreds of millions of entities and (b) query the entities and relationships with rich spatial and relational filters in a few milliseconds requires deep knowledge in several areas of computer science, so every day at work is very intellectually rewarding for all of us. There is another area of active work related to tagging geo-entities within the web corpus and finding ways of using this information as part of relevance and for innovative user visible features on the main search user experience.

 

We are a newly formed team with a few hand-picked rock star engineers from various parts of Bing. We have a startup culture with minimal process and management overhead. We ship updates to our production services every two weeks, using Scrum as the development process. We code primarily in C# and C++ to deliver components and web services to our customers throughout Microsoft.  Everyone writes production code and is responsible for end-to-end quality including test coverage and live site duties. As we are a platform team with SLA commitments for production services, we have a high bar for engineering fundamentals and strive to drive quality upstream as much as possible. We also focus on continuous improvement of our engineering processes with the goal of enhancing our quality and agility. Some of the key values we emphasize on our team include passion for technical growth, strong engineering fundamentals, individual accountability and responsibility, team work and mentoring, and drive for results.

 

As you can see from the team photo, we have quite a bit of diversity on our team. We have a lot of fun working closely with each other, helping each other grow, and enjoying shared success. We are relatively flexible with our work schedules and let everyone manage their day-to-day work on their own and track progress on a weekly basis. We work in City Center Plaza in downtown Bellevue, so in addition to enjoying the great views, we usually go out for lunch or drinks on a regular basis to the nearby restaurants. We also go out on regular team outings – recent events include a cooking class at Kaspars, a Day of Caring event at The Just Garden Project in Seattle, a picnic at Chism Park, river rafting in Wenatchee river, and a hike at Tiger Mountain, Issaquah.

 

Working on an exciting and challenging charter with a great team has been a lot of fun for all of us – we are looking for more world-class talent to join us and help us shape the future of Bing and advance the area of search. If you are interested, please visit: http://bit.ly/binggeospatialjobs to view my engineering job openings.

 

 

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