Author Archives: vmichar

Microsoft-sponsored data science competition

We are pleased to announce that a Microsoft-sponsored data science competition is now live on Kaggle!

The competition is also being hosted as a conference Cup by the Big Data Innovators Workshop (BIG), co-located with the WWW-2015 conference.


The Cup

The problem presented for the Cup is one of classifying malware files into their associated malware families, based on file content and characteristics.

Successful application of data science to malware-related problems is critical to mitigating the increasing risk of malware to every organization and individual online.

We hope that this competition will encourage scientists to invest resources in this extremely important, and rising, research field.


Microsoft Effort and Objectives

This One Microsoft undertaking, which has been maturing over the past year, is a joint effort between three organizations –  the Israel Microsoft Talent Acquisition Team (generously sponsoring $16k in prizes!), the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) OneProtection and Microsoft Azure Machine Learning.

The Talent Acquisition Team’s goal is to expose the data science community to the exciting opportunities that the growing data science discipline at Microsoft offers.

The MMPC OneProtection team would like to enable published and repeatable research related to malware, and encourage research efforts to go in this direction. Cup winners are required to publish their methods.

The Azure Machine Learning brand is featured in the Cup’s site and communications, reaching a large and targeted audience of data scientists.



We would like to thank WWW-2105, and in particular to the BIG committee: Prof. Alessandro Panconesi  and Prof. Alessandro Mei from “Sapienza, University of Rome”, Prof. Jimmy Lin from U. Maryland, and Dr. Junlan Feng from China Mobile.

This would not have been possible without the invaluable scientific advice from Elad Yom Tov, Shay Kels, Daniel Radu, Gal Lavee, Nir Levy, and Noam Koenigstein, and the legal and procurement support from Zvi Friedman and Anat Noam-Rubinstein.

It would also not be possible without support and encouragement from our leadership – Anat Assaf, Yoram Yaacovi, Dennis Batchelder, Mario Goertzel and Elad Ziklik.

Special thanks Dr. William Cukierski from for his help.


Please help us spread the word!



Corina Feuerstein, Marian Radu, Royi Ronen, Anat Kigel

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Get a running start with these 10 career tips

Written by:
Michelle Feder

October is an ideal time for us to recognize the contributions of women at Microsoft. With Grace Hopper going on this week, we’re celebrating women in technology and business. We recently featured Sarah Filman, a Senior PM Lead for Microsoft OneDrive, who is attending this sold-out conference.

In this post, we’re highlighting Louise Lamb, a U.K.-based Support Practice Manager. Louise joined Microsoft in 2004 as a Technical Account Manager, an individual contributor. Now she’s a manager in the Premier Support organization for our enterprise services business, and she’s passionate about helping people on her team fulfill their goals.

Outside of work, Louise is an avid runner. She ran the London Marathon in 2013 in honor of a friend who is a breast cancer survivor. For the occasion, she wore a pink tutu and fairy wings — and raised 3,500 pounds for the cause.

Louise is training for a half-marathon, so you can think of her as a coach who wants to help you reach your  next big goal. Here, she offers 10 tips for women and men alike who aspire to leadership roles:

  1. Stretch. “During university, one summer I worked at a toy factory on an assembly line. It was a massive wakeup call. I learned I needed to do something that challenged me.”
  2. Choose your route. How does someone go from manual labor in a factory to acquiring a management role at Microsoft? Raised in a small town in South Wales, Louise decided to move “to the big smoke near London,” to pursue new career opportunities. She applied for a job with Sun Microsystems, where she fell in love with tech and the culture of a large American corporation.
  3. Cross-train. At Sun, Louise was a telephone salesperson. She asked her boss, “’Any chance I can go see a customer?’”  She learned: If you don’t ask, you don’t get opportunities.
  4. Test your drive. Early in her career, Louise sensed she may be perceived as less credible than her male counterparts. “I did feel I had to work extra hard, and be extra assertive, in running a meeting or delivering a tough message to a customer.”
  5. Persist. At Microsoft, “It took me five attempts over four years to get my management job.” Louise knew at first she wasn’t going to get it. “The best thing I learned and took away from the experience was input for a strong career development plan. This gave me a great foundation to move forward and understand where I needed to focus to get to the next step in my career.”
  6. Form friendships around a common goal. How did Louise break through to a management role? “Having a strong network enabled me to let people know my career aspirations.” When a management role became available, Louise was given a six-month secondment to try the role in an acting capacity, as a manager within the consulting services. “For me it was a great opportunity to gain first-hand experience and to prove my capability, having never done a people management role before, it was a great opportunity for the business to see that I can really do this.”
  7. Stay motivated, even when it hurts. Doubling up in the two roles at once allowed Louise to prove herself to her team’s leadership. She recalls, “I did my existing role as a technical account manager, and I managed 29 consultants. It was a real stretch and challenge.” She tested her limits. “I’m a bit like a terrier dog: If someone sets me to do something, I do it to the best of my ability.” Looking back on the juggle, Louise laughs and says, “I can’t believe I did it, but it really reinforced my goal to become a people manager.”
  8. Be positive. No matter what stage of your career, she says, when you get constructive feedback, have courage and hear it. “Sometimes it’s not what you want to hear, but it’s the constructive feedback that helps us all develop.  That will be useful to you on an ongoing basis.”  She’s gotten positive reinforcement for her optimism. “People see me as having a sunny disposition. I think that has worked to help motivate people around me and when needed, get customers on my side.”
  9. Recharge. “For me, work should be a bit of an adventure,” Louise says. “I take it seriously, but having fun here is important to me.” Downtime is essential: “Ten minutes for a cup of tea to communicate and connect with my team and peers is where I get a great deal of satisfaction from my role.”
  10. Lace up your shoes and go. Today, Louise believes that women in business are regarded as equal. At MGX, for example, “I was struck by the number of female leaders who were presenting in the main tent, like Amy Hood, our CFO. And I thought, ‘She’s got really nice shoes!’” It was a revelation: “Wow, you can be glamorous, feminine, successful and senior, at the same time. It’s a real step forward for women and technology.”

Summing up these insights, Louise says: “At Microsoft, I can be myself.” She’s glad the days are over when women had to get ahead with a pushy demeanor and stereotypical big shoulder pads. Here, she says, “I can be feminine, I can wear jewelry and a dress. And I can be viewed by my peers and the leadership team as me, judged purely by my performance.”

Ready to put your training into action? Come as you are, do what you love, and go the distance. Visit Microsoft Careers, our global web site.


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What is your one?

What is your ONE?

As the New Year is upon us, we naturally reflect back on our accomplishments and what we have left unfinished. Some of us make resolutions for the year ahead and others look forward to what new opportunities may be presented. With a fresh new year brings excitement for all that can be achieved.

The past is a powerful place that far too often draws us back into our comfort zone. It’s the place that keeps people from discovering their unique purpose. In order to step out of our comfort zone we need to see what that place of unknown looks like. The science world tells us that water is hot at 211 degrees, however, at 212 degrees (just ONE more degree) water boils and when water boils there is steam, and steam can push a locomotive train. That ONE degree is a shift from mediocre or just good enough to GREAT. The “ONE” is not satisfied with good participation they demand the GAME changer attitude. The ONE moves from being the “HOT ONE” to the “Boiling PRODUCER.”

By challenging ourselves to move past our comfort zone into that ONE more state of mind, we will never know what we can achieve or how our efforts will mold the success of others. Just ONE more is the “curator of dreams personified!”

What does that ONE look like for you?

Wishing you and yours the best this New Year!

Written by:

Michelle Hart

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First Codess event in Israel

We recently held the 1st Codess event in Israel. 55 pre-registered and pre-screened top female students from tier 1 CS, EE & MBA faculties attended the event. The event’s concept was speed mentoring sessions with tech female Microsoft employees discussing various topics: career planning and management, tips for job search & MS interview process, Microsoft Technologies – Cloud/Cortana, how to influence in organization, internships experience at Microsoft.

Shelly Landsmann, PS lead for Microsoft Israel, opened the event and shared with the students her career path and tips on how to build and succeed in their career.

The energy at the event was great, the students enjoyed the conversation with the mentors, asked lot of questions, it was hard to stop the sessions after 20 minutes and switch mentors.  Following the event we received requests from students to register to Women of Excellence (a special program for outstanding female students in Israel) and to apply for positions at Microsoft.

I would like to thank Alexa Glick for introducing us the format, sharing great best practices and helping us to develop successful  event for Israel.

Israel Coddess

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Microsoft: Meet the Company | Inspiration Starts Here

On the evening of Monday, October 27, 2014, Microsoft Services Staffing partnered with the DC Women in Technology forum to host Meet the Company – Microsoft networking event for females in the technology industry at the Reston Virginia office. Over 50 attendees spent the evening engaging with senior leaders from across the Services organization and were given the opportunity to hear from Jim Holt, General Manager of Federal Civilian, as well as a female panel of Microsoft employees.

The evening kicked off with informal networking interaction game which rewarded attendees with small MS giveaways. The formal program kicked off with an opening remarks from both WIT representatives, an overview of MS Services which moved into our Q&A Panel discussion. Afterwards, the attendees moved into a more intimate roundtable discussion with other MS leaders to continue the discussions and share their own personal experience at Microsoft.

Attendees appreciated the intimate access to senior female leaders. The diverse, genuine, personable and approachable panel resonated with the audience.

“I found the event extremely encouraging. It was great to hear the stories of other women. It left me feeling very hopeful… I thoroughly enjoyed the event and was thankful to be there. I look forward to one day being a panel member, sharing my story with women.”

Due to the intimate size and small group conversations, participants on both sides had the opportunity to have meaningful conversations and develop relationships with other females in the technology industry.

Panelist Grace Barajas Orozco shares her personal journey at Microsoft with other Women in Technology at Reston’s Meet the Company Event on October 27th.

Panelist Grace Barajas Orozco shares her personal journey at Microsoft with other Women in Technology at Reston’s Meet the Company Event on October 27th.


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