Back at Microsoft–What I’m doing now


Not that anyone is really paying attention, but I recently realized I hadn’t updated the world with what I’m currently working on.

One of my last posts was to explain I was leaving Microsoft for pastures new, but that didn’t last very long! I did actually leave, but a colleague who’s working in the Search Technology Centre (Europe) in London asked me if I wanted to do some work for them. I accepted, so from February 2010 I was working for Microsoft as a contractor, and in the last couple of months I’ve become a full-time Microsoft employee once again.

I’m back working on Bing, currently on the Whole Page Relevance team - which basically means the core things on the search results page which aren’t the 10 blue links. In particular right now I’m working on Related Search suggestions you see in the left-hand rail.

For obvious reasons I can’t go into specific details on what I do, but it involves lots of data mining of absolutely massive data sets, optimising algorithms and experimenting with different features that help us improve our suggestions. I’m working with a small (but growing) bunch of extremely smart people, which makes it a fascinating place to work.

The only downside is that I’m generally working in London for 4 days each week, which means a long commute up and down from Northumberland each week. I’ve now got a (very!) small flat in Pimlico just 40 minutes walk from our offices in Soho where I stay during the week, which is much better than staying in hotels.

Some related links which you may find interesting:

Thanks for listening, and hopefully I’ll have something more interesting to say reasonably soon!
John

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