I started at Microsoft in 2006 – in the SQL Server team. I’ve been a DBA/Developer/BI dev since 1981, on systems from mainframes to HP VAX Clusters, Solaris systems, and more. I worked as a Program Manager (someone who owns a feature within a product at MSFT) for the management tools – SQL Server Management Studio, SQLCMD, PowerShell for SQL and bcp. In 2008 I shipped my product, and left to work as a Technical Specialist for SQL Server for large companies in the Pacific Northwest and California.
In 2009, I heard about “Red Dog” – what was to become Microsoft Azure – and I had to get in. I jumped in early as a World-Wide Technical Specialist, and worked in a startup culture we have here at Microsoft called “Incubation”. There were amazing challenges, and amazing successes along the way. After a few years, Azure matured to full release, and it was time to come home. Literally home – I moved back to paradise (Safety Harbor, Florida) and took a role in Microsoft Services as an IT Architect and Planner.
Almost four years ago I came out of “sequester” (where I was working on…things for….people) on social media and blogging. I joined the Machine Learning team at Microsoft as an Applied Data Scientist. This area wasn’t that new to me, since I worked with “Expert Systems” back in the 1980’s, but a new wave of algorithms, technologies, and platforms allowed a quantum leap in how machines could make predictions and categorize data – the basis for modern Artificial Intelligence.
In my role, I trained our internal consultants, select partners, and black-belts around the world on how to use our Machine Learning tools – then called the “Cortana Intelligence Suite” to do ML and AI projects. Over time, we added more and more capabilities, our team expanded into multiple products, and the problems we solved were more complex. We also made all of the training my small team created to you – you can find it here: https://azure.github.io/learnAnalytics-public/. I’ve also been blogging along the way to help you explore Data Science for yourself.
And now it’s time for me to take what I have learned, and bring it full circle to SQL Server. The team there has grown that platform into something that is larger than I could have imagined. And one part that is the most exciting to me is “Intelligence over any Data” – SQL Scale out Clusters, Spark, and ML Services. I have always felt that anyone can work with applied Artificial Intelligence, and I have always tried to make the complex as simple as possible. And I’m going to keep doing that – in the SQL Server area. I’m joining Asad Khan and Bob Ward (one of my all-time heroes) in December as a Program Manager on the Scale Out and AI area in SQL Server.
So expect to see me around the SQL Server Community a little more often. And watch this space for LOTS of information on how you can ramp up in this brave new world of the world’s largest data platform.