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Sumit Chauhan: Developing Microsoft Access, Running a Dev Team

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Meet Sumit Chauhan, principal development manager for Access. Medicine or engineering were her choices….and she decided development was her thing. Watch the newest WM_IN Technology interview as Sumit chats with Charles and Jennifer about her trail blazing ways, her time spent in the Office group, and her new salad days leading up a team of 30+ people.

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  • MassifMassif aim stupidly high, expect to fail often.
    Diversity in the workplace is great, as long as the managers recognise the various attitudes and aptitudes of their employees.

    Too many times have I (I'm definitely not detail oriented and more of the write a load of random code, fix it until the compiler stops complaining and go!) been stuck doing code review changes, (or worse, code reviews!) and fixing minor bugs. Things which require a detail-oriented attitude. Blurgh!

    Interestingly the best managers I've worked with for getting to know their staff and their staff's strengths have been women. A lot of the men don't seem to care, even when you've told them what you like doing and are good at, they just seem to see you (i.e. me) as replacable parts (which they then had to do as I left the company, not that things have improved...)
  • ChadkChadk excuse me - do you has a flavor?
    very good interview.
    I like how Charles have his sunglasses around his neck. Is there alot of sunlight at your office? Tongue Out
  • MassifMassif aim stupidly high, expect to fail often.
    SEP2007 wrote:
    I didn't think that nice looking women did computing.


    There I was, trying not to make a quip about how Charles always seems to interview attractive intelligent women and wondering whethering he has their photos on him before arranging the interviews (as it would just reinforce negative stereotypes about developers), and someone just sinks lower than I possibly could.
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    SEP2007 wrote:
    I didn't think that nice looking women did computing.


    Again, why share your stupidty with us?
    C
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    Massif wrote:
    
    SEP2007 wrote: I didn't think that nice looking women did computing.


    There I was, trying not to make a quip about how Charles always seems to interview attractive intelligent women and wondering whethering he has their photos on him before arranging the interviews (as it would just reinforce negative stereotypes about developers), and someone just sinks lower than I possibly could.


    That's pretty questionable thinking. Too bad you felt the need to share it publicly.
    C

    EDITED by Charles: Sorry for being mean, but why make yourself look dumb when you're not?
  • SEP2007SEP2007 "Give Everything Its Home"
    .
  • erikerik_ Whooops!
    Great video, thanks!

    Why is the pc on the background running Windows 2003 Server?
  • Martin Ennemosermawcc Make it so

    @Charles: No offense, but I think responding to each bad comment is futile. People should be able to distinguish between good and bad comments themselves.

    As for the video:

    Sumit mentioned 25 developers on her team. That sounds pretty low for a complex product like Access. Are there lots of shared components in Office (like UI stuff, VBA, etc.) that are not developed by her team?

    Another question: Were there similar efforts in the Office team to better componentize the application and reduce dependencies between components like in Vista?

     

  • MassifMassif aim stupidly high, expect to fail often.
    Charles wrote:
    
    That's pretty questionable thinking. Too bad you felt the need to share it publicly.
    C

    EDITED by Charles: Sorry for being mean, but why make yourself look dumb when you're not?


    Ever had that urge to say something unsuitable simply because it's ocurred to you? Like you can't say anything else until you've got it out of your system? The urge on which tourettes is built methinks.

    Anyway, my original post would have been far more witty and intelligent, and would have included a back-handed compliment to all women of the world. But I realised that there was no way it wasn't going to make me look like an arse. And yet, there was that strange compulsion...

    I apologise for implying however tongue-in-cheek that you're using WM_IN as a dating agency, I plead temporary insanity. (I believe it started 26 years ago, but I'm sure it's temporary.)
  • rasxrasx Emperor of String.Empty
    I knew it was irresistable for my fellow niners to make a remark about the physical apperance of Sumit Chauhan. I had the same "challenge" but for me it is an indication of my poverty. It reminds me that so many people are "ugly" in so many ways that when we see what resembles "beauty" we pack on like wolves to pollute and defile.


    Now trivia: Sumit Chauhan is an engineer. I assume that this interview took place in her office so you can see that her space is not "decorated" with "girl stuff" in particular and consumer gluttony in general. She takes a very utilitarian view of her work space...
  • rasxrasx Emperor of String.Empty
    Oops! Spoke to soon... it is her office and she was not finished unpacking!
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    Chadk wrote:
    very good interview.
    I like how Charles have his sunglasses around his neck. Is there alot of sunlight at your office?


    I was going to ask if "neck glasses" was the new thing and I missed it. Smiley
  • A very wise and insightful answer as to what makes a great manager. Smiley

    Unfortunately, many managers neither can nor want to teach those on their team.

    The person at the top of an organization definitely sets the standard and must lead by example.

    Impressive interview.

    Glad to see Charles and Jennifer working together again.

    Cool
  • Why discuss genders when mathematics was the important part of this video! Tongue Out

    I'd like to agree with Charles. Math is not necessary to become a good developer. 2/3 of my time at public school here in Denmark was with a math teacher who almost hated me. I was afraid of math, but I started to learn programming. Writing code helped me a lot later on (I didn't know that it would when I started), but I was completely sure that I wanted to become a developer when I grew up.

    I went to another school where I had a great math teacher. The result is that I love mathematics now. I'm not especially good at it (I'm no genius, but I fight for the things I want), and now I'm taking a technical education which of course includes a lot of math. I'm properly among the best in my class now, and programming helped me get to where I am.

    Hell, I think every kid in school should learn to write a simple application! Big Smile

    Well, enough about math. Great interview, Charles! It's really interesting to see how a team at Microsoft is ordered and how they work.

    - Dan

    By the way, I'm pretty tired of the limitations of Visual C# 2005 Express, but I really can't afford the Pro version. Took a look at Standard and it looks really good, but it's still 1500 Dkr. (Danish kroner), which is very expensive to me (I'm 16, can't really buy software at that price). Do you know how I can buy a student license or something similar? Microsoft should do more to get young developers into business (courses and like). But that must be for another post Smiley
  • dear sumit
    great achievment. this is an old friend of yours from mnrec.  can we communicate?
    jay'
    London
  • dear sumit
    great achievement. this is an old friend of yours from mnrec.  can we communicate?
    jay'
    London
  • dear sumit
    great achievement. this is an old friend of yours from mnrec.  can we communicate?
    jay'Smiley
    London
  • really she is looking hot .............just i was looking @ her 00 ..Tongue Out

  • Wonderful interview and very well spoken. Especially liked the part about "What makes a good manager". 
  • Are you sure this girl is a developer?  She looks like a Bollywood hopeful.
  • Dear Charles,

    thanks a lot for giving Microsoft Access a face, because Microsoft Access doesn't play a big role here at C9.

    I'm writing Access apps since Access 2.0 and I can say that MS Access is a real professional and matured tool. In my humble opinion Access 97 was the breakthrough in productivtiy and customer satisfaction.

    In many german company departments reside tons and tons of Access and VBA solutions to automate the internal business processes.

    Since a few years I'm trying to add .NET capabilities to my daily work by request of my customers, but in spite of .NET 2.0, the productivity does not match the Access ones for creating small and mid-size business apps for departments and small businesses. The integrated performance concept of table-query-report isn't reached yet by other tools. (The very only hint for improvement I have is to export all reporting elements like images and graphic objects to word too, not only text by word export assistant)

    Thanks a lot to the MS Access Team for this great job over the years, because MS Access is also known as a value-added-engine with a small footprint of time and learning curve Wink

    Alex

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