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Join the ever-growing community of Kendall Square!

Join the ever-growing community of Kendall Square!

What’s next for Kendall Square after its amazing 5-year run? Scott Kirsner, BostonGlobe columnist, BetaBoston blogger, and editor of InnoLead asks this question in his most recent piece for BetaBoston. In the article, he discusses the exponential growth of the Kendall Square area in the past 5 years, from tech moguls to internet commerce, social media firms and startups dominating the area.

We established our presence here in Kendall Square here in 2007.  We now have nearly 800 employees in two, separate offices, and nearly 900 employees in Massachusetts, including our store locations.

We are proud to be part of this ever-growing community and are always looking for more innovators to join our team. Think you can make a difference in the next five years? We invite you to take a look at our job openings and help us make an impact in Kendall Square and beyond.

Read Scott’s piece in the Boston Globe here.

Fellow Profile: Gavin Sullivan

Gavin-Sullivan-MicrosoftWhere are you from? Deerfield, IL

School/grade/major: Harvard, Sophomore, Classics and Statistics

Last Thing You Binged:  “Return of Parks and Rec” – it’s been on hiatus for too long!

Why did you choose to intern with Microsoft?
My interest in technology was born when my dad brought home a Compaq desktop computer running Windows 98 — I was four at the time. Politics followed soon after when I tried to understand the 2000 election (my six-year-old self had much trouble making sense of the Electoral College). My time here at Microsoft has allowed me to bridge both of these interests by engaging with civic technology.

What projects are you working on for your position as tech fellow for MSNE?
I’m currently developing training solutions for our local government users. Microsoft has a tremendous amount of resources available online; I’m trying to package these in a way that is more useful to public sector workers.

What excites you about civic tech?
Civic tech reflects my generation’s evolving attitudes on political participation. Rather than casting our votes every November then sitting back for the remainder of the year, we’re using technology to turn government into a leaner, swifter machine.

What’s one problem you hope civic tech will solve for cities?
Citizens deserve to be more closely involved with their local governments’ budgeting process. Cities throughout the country are already using technology to give their constituents greater influence on where their tax dollars go. As more municipalities begin to embrace civic tech, I hope this trend continues across the nation.

Robert Davy is the new GM of Microsoft’s Northeast District

www.thestudionouveau.comRobert Davy is the new general manager for Microsoft’s Northeast Enterprise and Partner Group. The Boston Globe profiled him in Sunday’s edition. A longtime leader within Microsoft’s East Region, Robert leads sales, marketing, and service delivery functions for large enterprise customers in the Northeast, with a special focus on banking and insurance, health and life sciences, and manufacturing and retail sectors. He’s also responsible for Microsoft’s work in the broader New England community around youth education, innovation, employment and entrepreneurship, among other areas.

Since he joined Microsoft in December 2004, Robert has held key regional leadership positions, and before that led part of the financial services business in Microsoft’s New York Metro Enterprise Sales District. He has a bachelors’ degree in business administration from American University and an MBA from Hofstra. Robert, his wife and teenage sons live in the Boston suburbs, and love to ski, travel and explore New England.

We hope you’ll watch this blog for more of Robert’s ideas about how Microsoft’s technology and services can help move Boston-area businesses forward in this new era of productivity.

Fellow Profile: Zach Fogelson


Where are you from?

School/grade/major: Harvard, Senior, Computer Science

Last Thing You Binged: Caffeine :)

Why did you choose to intern with Microsoft?
I chose to work for Microsoft for many reasons. First, I like working at Microsoft because Microsoft builds the platforms and tools that allow developers to be creative everywhere. In addition, Microsoft is an amazingly collaborative and innovative environment. All of the people I work with here are kind, passionate about technology, and helpful.

What projects are you working on for your position as tech fellow for MSNE?
In conjunction with a team at Code for Boston, I am working on converting the Boston City laws to USLM (United States Legislative Markup) format. This project is part of an effort going on all around the country to standardize legal formatting and thereby improve access to legal documents for citizens.

What excites you about civic tech?
I am excited about working in civic tech because I know that there are numerous policies and government initiatives that should be having a bigger impact on people’s lives than they are now. When I make technological contributions to my community I feel like I am helping to break down the barriers that prevents people from accessing the government services they need.

What’s one problem you hope civic tech will solve for cities?
One issue that I hope civic tech can solve for cities is access to high quality education. As more world-class lectures, notes, and exercises are available online, I hope that people will be empowered to take control of their education wherever they are and regardless of socioeconomic status.

It’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month. What is one thing you do personally to stay safe online?
One quick thing I do to stay safe is that when I get an email, and I am not sure of whether or not it originated from a safe source, I put my cursor over the links in the email before clicking on it and I check the URL embedded in the hyperlink. If I don’t recognize the URL I throw out the message.

Staff Spotlight: Nancy Baym

Nancy_BaymName: Nancy Baym 

Hometown: Urbana, Illinois

Job: Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research

Years at Microsoft: 2

Favorite restaurant in the Boston area: That’s a hard call! I quite like Helmand in Cambridge and Sichuan Gourmet in Brookline.

Last thing you Binged: I was looking for articles about the new album by the Spanish singer-songwriter Nacho Vegas.

Something cool you’ve worked on recently: I’ve been interviewing musicians about their relationships with audiences. I think that counts as cool!

What inspires you about technology? I’m fascinated by the ways that it opens possibilities for people to interact with one another and the ways people manage to overcome the obstacles technologies pose in order to connect in meaningful ways. Perhaps that is what inspires me about people more than about technology.

What problem would you like to see technology solve? I am not a big believer in technology as a solution, but I think it can help *people* solve problems, and in that regard I would sure like to see us use technology to connect across boundaries and lessen the racism, sexism, and all the other –isms that keep us apart and lead to hatred and violence.

BU’s Artemis Project Visits Microsoft New England: An Interview with Soon-to-be 9th Graders Victoria Shen & Madaleine Cutone

(L) Madaleine Cutone, soon-to-be 9th grader at Newton North High School; (R) Victoria Shen, soon-to-be 9th grader at Quincy High Schools

(L) Madaleine Cutone (R) Victoria Shen | soon-to-be 9th graders at Newton North and Quincy High Schools

On July 11, Microsoft New England welcomed BU’s Artemis Project to our Technology Center and New England Research & Development (NERD) Center. The Artemis Project is a five-week summer program that introduces rising ninth grade girls to computer science, directed by undergraduate women at BU.

We’re always pumped to get kids excited about technology—and these kinds of hands-on experiences are what STEM education’s all about. You know, ditch the textbooks for a walk-through exploration of real-life researchers and their cool creations: from capturing the world in 3-D with Photosynth, to Bing Health & Fitness apps to playing and drawing on giant Surface boards with Surface Pens.

We got the chance to chat with two of the girls: soon-to-be ninth graders Victoria Shen and Madaleine Cutone, who’ll be attending Quincy High School and Newton North High School (respectively) this fall. Here’s what the girls had to say about their visit to Microsoft:

Microsoft New England: Why did you join The Artemis Project?

Victoria: I have always been interested in working with computers, and when my science teacher recommended me to join this program, I jumped at that opportunity to expand my knowledge about computers.

Madaleine: I wanted to learn about different types of Technology and Engineering fields to prepare me for college at first, but I had also realized that I had had a lot of success in my Tech Ed. and science classes at school. I decided to expand on that success and look further into the engineering and technology fields.

MSNE: What was your favorite thing about your visit to Microsoft New England?

V: My favorite part of my visit to Microsoft New England was getting the tour of the Exploratorium and getting to try out some of the things. The robot that takes your picture is so cool!!!

M: My personal favorite thing to do there was to play around on all of the different devices. I enjoyed getting to explore the way that Microsoft’s devices were programmed and put together.

MSNE: What was your favorite piece of technology that you used?

V: The Surface. It’s so cool that it’s a device that can easily change into a tablet or a laptop!

M: Cortana, the voice control option on many of Microsoft’s devices. It was interesting to me that Cortana didn’t obligate the user to say specific facts about the piece of information that they wanted to acquire.

MSNE: What do you want to be when you grow up?

V: I used to want to be a teacher, but now thanks to the Artemis Project, I think I want to be an IT Specialist.

M: I want to be a computer scientist when I grow up, but I think I would also enjoy working in the biomedical field.

Which Boston Restaurants Pass City Food Inspection? Cue: Microsoft Fellow’s New Windows App


Step aside, Gordon Ramsay—there’s a new app in town that swaps your scathing insults for cold hard data. Harvard sophomore and Microsoft Chicago Fellow Gavin Sullivan recently developed an app now available in the Windows Store called Boston Food Inspections. And it just might change where you book your next dinner date.

“The idea originated when I was browsing the data portal released by the City of Chicago,” Sullivan told MSNE of his hometown. “The city released tons and tons of data that’s available to the public. I came across this interesting data on food inspections, and was surprised at how detailed it was and how many restaurants were on the list.”

“I thought it would be interesting to take that information and present it in a way that’s accessible and easy to understand.”

Sullivan’s Boston Food Inspections app visualizes the data as happy and frowny-faced emoticons based on the number of times a restaurant passes and fails different types of inspections. For example, “Food must be stored at a temperature below 50 degrees: pass/fail.”

The concept started with a massive data set of passes and fails from Boston restaurants. Sullivan then used Microsoft Excel to file through all of that data and sort it in a way that could be translated into an app.

“Excel allowed me to store things really nicely, narrow down the huge data set and create something that I could then present as an app,” Sullivan explained.

After modifying the data, he went to Project Siena (a Microsoft program in beta testing that anyone can download from the Windows Store). Siena allows you to create applications for your desktop using commands similar to Excel commands.

“Siena is easy to use for someone who’s new to coding and app development,” Sullivan said.

We asked Sullivan if he ever eats out anymore after seeing all of this food inspection data.

“To be honest, I’m not too much of a good cook,” he told us. “So I still eat out. But it’s definitely surprising to see how many things restaurants do wrong when looking at this data.”

Staff Spotlight: Brian aka “Bubba” Conley


Name: Brian aka “Bubba” Conley
Currently the only Bubba @ Microsoft 😉

Hometown: Weymouth, MA

Job: Software Design Engineer in Test (SDET)

Years at Microsoft: 8

Favorite restaurant in the Boston area: Anna’s Taqueria – I like a good burrito!

Last thing you Binged: Watertown MA, Town hall hours

Something cool you’ve worked on recently: Citizen Schools class on Game Theory with 6th graders from Browne Middle School in Chelsea.

What inspires you about technology? The ability to transform people’s lives for the better

What problem would you like to see technology solve? Improved, more connected, devices for police departments.  It seems that their technology tends to be lagging behind, where I strongly believe that their profession above others deserves cutting edge solutions.

Staff Spotlight: Nana Essilfie-Conduah

Nana Essilfie-ConduahNameNana Essilfie-Conduah

Hometown: London, England

Job: Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) – Enterprise Client (Windows Intune) – IW Portal

Years at Microsoft: 1

Favorite restaurant in the Boston area: Fire & Ice

Last thing you Binged: Cortana vs Siri

Something cool you’ve worked on recently: The Intune IW Portal mobile redesign. The portal serves as the web UI and probably the main face that the average Intune customer will interact with. It’s pretty cool, as through the portal users manage their software and devices regardless of which device they access it from.

What inspires you about technology? The ability to take huge problems and visions and make them more easily comprehendible and visualized by the average person. Take simulations and graphical prototyping used in engineering, they go a long way to moving a thought from concept to ready for design or even implementation. Simulations that employ UI’s blow me away personally; the data visually does the speaking for you.

Related Reading: How Microsoft’s Cambridge team helped shape Siri-competitor Cortana via Boston Business Journal

GLEAM Celebrates Pride in Boston and Beyond


Photo Cred: Matt Feczko | That’s our own Eric Frackleton, who wore the Halo Spartan suit for the entire parade.

The 44th annual Boston Pride Parade kicked off Saturday, June 14, drawing a record number of people. Over 10,000 people and 200 groups marched from Copley Square to City Hall Plaza led by Gov. Deval Patrick and parade Grand Marshall Mayor Marty Walsh—all decked out and dancing in the streets to celebrate New England’s robust gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities. With over half a million in attendance, it was an event to remember.

This year, Microsoft New England had over 40 marchers from our Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Employees at Microsoft (GLEAM) team, carrying picket signs, banners, giving out swag, and showing support for the Boston Pride community (especially Eric Frackleton, who wore the Halo Spartan suit the entire time, kudos). We also marched to celebrate the 10th anniversary of marriage equality in Massachusetts. Yet ultimately, our vision is to transition “Pride” from being an event to being an ongoing celebration of our values of diversity & inclusion.

“This year’s pride was truly a spectacular event for GLEAM. So many people across the globe came together to help make this event happen, from creating consistent branding and marketing materials, to helping put together banners, to scooping ice cream at the wind down, to dozens of people showing up to march (despite the scary weather forecast),” said Matt Feczko, Program Manager and head of GLEAM New England. “I want to thank everyone for helping out with this year’s Pride event, especially my co-marshall Joe Shapiro! Joe, you outdid yourself, so thank you.”

And our pride definitely doesn’t end with the parade! GLEAM and Microsoft have launched a new, inclusive, and globally consistent brand and theme for its LGBT diversity and inclusion work: Honestly Proud, supported by three pillars: Honestly Diverse, Honestly Equal, and Honestly Me. These pillars are coming to life on a global scale, not only during Pride month, but all year long.

Happy Pride Month!

Check out our full Facebook album for more pics of GLEAM at the Boston Pride Parade!


Photo Cred: Emil Cohen (l) & Mary Gray (r)