I’ve always wanted to improve my skills as a developer. I knew that the best people are at companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook. I’ve always wanted the kinds of challenges they represent. I always wanted to work with people who would wow me and teach me at the same time. When I heard that Microsoft had come to Kenya, I knew that “this is my chance”.
This is the story of George Maina, a Software Engineer at the Microsoft Africa Development Center (ADC-East) located in Nairobi, Kenya. He is one of the first hires of Microsoft and works on the Identity and Network Access team in Kenya.
Even though the ADC was an experiment the success of George’s team in the early days will go on to help Microsoft make investing more in the ADC an easy decision. The ADC has grown from 21 employees in three teams to over 400 in more than eight teams in three years. With Microsoft launching a 27 million dollar office facility to house the software engineers.
Geroge works for the Microsoft Graph onboarding team, which is the third team to be formed at the ADC. “Right now, we’re four people, we help teams within Microsoft to onboard onto Graph and to manage their Graph deployments. … My role is to develop tooling to make sure we can automatically link their API when they publish it to our repo.”
I think we were the very first team to join Identity here, and we all came on the same day. There were then three teams at Microsoft’s Africa Development Center (ADC) in Nairobi. Each team had around seven people, making a total of 21. One team came aboard just a week before my team. At that time, it was not really clear where ADC was going. But it turned out really well. We’ve gotten our footing and have developed specialized areas. Several teams are now owners of certain operations within Microsoft. ADC has grown to around 400 just here in Kenya alone. That’s a testament to how well ADC has performed.
I remember when you came to visit, Igor, you said that you’d evaluate the operation after a few years, that it was an experiment. I remember going home that night thinking, wow, what happens if this fails?
Igor Sakhnov, Microsoft Corporate vice president of Identity and Network Access Engineering, talks with software engineer George Maina about his entrepreneurial journey and the beginnings of the Microsoft ADC. Click to read the full conversation.
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