I am Suz Hinton. Ask me anything.

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Marco Alka's photo

Hi Suz, thank you a lot for doing this AMA~!

What's the coolest thing about working for Microsoft? Do you have a fancy office? Special snack time?

What is your (and your colleagues') take on opensource tools, which are in direct competition with MS products? Stuff, like Linux distros, Redox, LibreOffice, MariaDB, etc. Do you embrace them, take ideas from them and use them alternatively sometimes, or are they completely banned?

What is the single most important thing in the world of IoT development you are missing? How do you think the situation could be remedied?

Suz Hinton's photo

Hi Marco! Thanks for participating.

The coolest thing about working for Microsoft is that I'm paid to play with (and improve!!) the ridiculous amount of tools and services in Azure. No joke. These tools help me so much with my open source work, with developing new projects, and with generating new ways to solve problems.

The office closest to me is the Times Square location in NYC. 'Fancy' is subjective, but it's not one of those offices with a gym, shower, gourmet meals cafeteria etc etc. It's a pretty regular corporate office which is fine by me. I mostly work from home, which is what I prefer for productivity anyway. I have visited the Redmond campus a few times (in fact I'm traveling right now and will be there after I finish this AMA!) and it's definitely more full featured with cafés, a treehouse (!!), shuttle buses, and lots of natural light.

Most of my colleagues skew towards open source tools. I can't speak for everyone, but most of us don't always see them as being in direct competition to Microsoft. Microsoft has truly started to embrace open source in the last few years and it shows. A large portion of VMs sitting in Azure are running Linux, for example. We realise that meeting communities where they are can be important and beneficial. I wouldn't say we outright 'ban' anything - we're always open to discussion.

One of many examples - we have a Kafka Source Connector for our Azure IoT Hub offering: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/kafka-connect-for-azure-iot-hub/

The single most important thing in IoT we're missing right now - a 'Lets Encrypt' for IoT Security. We need to make it a lot easier for device manufacturers and hobbyists to secure their hardware offerings properly to avoid things like the Mirai issue or worse happening again. There are a lot of facets to this - check out this paper to see the complexities: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/SevenPropertiesofHighlySecureDevices.pdf

Marco Alka's photo

Thank you for taking the time to write such an extensive insight :)