By Zoe Goldring
Another beautiful fall day is breaking in Redmond and with that comes the latest dispatch from one of our teams. This week, Harish Jayanti of the Bing Geospatial Platform team wanted to tell you more about his new team and what they are working on. Now, I am not going to be shy on my lack of knowledge of this area –this post contains a lot of engineering terms that went over my head at first. But here’s the thing about reading what Harish has to say; he exudes excitement. Excitement for the engineering problems that he tackles on a daily basis. Excitement for a problem space that he and his team gets to dig into every day. And mostly excitement for the people he spends his time with. So read along and find out what this part of the Microhood has to offer. And then decide if you want to be part of that excitement for yourself!
My name is Harish Jayanti and 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.
WHAT WE DO
The team that I manage is the Bing Geospatial Platform team. My team builds rich location and spatial services that can be used by the end-to-end Online Services Division (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 powerful 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 robust 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.
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.
Now that you have an idea of what my team works on, I want to tell you more about the people on the 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 take time for regular team outings – recent events include a cooking class at Kaspar’s, 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 in Issaquah.
WE ARE HIRING!
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 contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: http://bit.ly/binggeospatialjobs to view my engineering job openings.