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Azadeh Khojandi

Azadeh worked in the IT field 15 years before a recruiter encouraged her to apply to Microsoft for a Technical Evangelist role. Although she was unsure of her chances of being selected, with the recruiters’ encouragement, she started the process. Not even two days later, they called her in for an interview. Although she was traveling through Europe during the process, Microsoft accommodated her schedule. She had her last two interviews while she was enjoying the enchanting beauty of the northern lights and the Lappish wilderness in a glass igloo. Finally, she received her confirmation letter in Paris. She hired as a Technical Evangelist, and now she is a Senior Software Engineer in the Microsoft commercial software engineering (CSE) organization.

Azadeh gets her love of computing from her dad. Despite growing up in a war zone, seeing anti-aircraft towers everywhere, hearing sirens, and watching planes carrying bombs fly overhead, her dad always stressed the importance of education. As an electronics engineer, he was always bringing home cool technology and encouraging her and her sister to learn how to program. Her love of learning continues to this day. One of Azadeh’s favorite things about the CSE team is that she is not locked into any specific technology. While other Microsoft teams work on particular projects, Azadeh loves the variety of customers and projects she encounters on the CSE team. She gets to try new things while providing honest feedback to the Microsoft product teams. Her work continually challenges her to think outside the box about what’s possible and what’s the right solution for the customer.

One of her favorite projects was working with NT fisheries to find a better way to count fish. Knowing the number of fish helps them apply industry rules on what’s allowed to be fished at any given time. Before Azadeh and her team worked with them, people were manually counting fish by watching videos frame by frame and counting whatever fish they could see. Using machine learning, they were able to significantly reduce the amount of time people spent counting fish. Recently she has become interested in Kubernetes. She is now leading an open-source project in Microsoft, which extends Kubernetes API and allows people to submit Databricks Notebooks job on Azure.

In addition to her work at Microsoft, Azadeh has always been passionate about Empowering female engineers. She is one of the organizers of Girl Geek Sydney; a community with more than 2500 members, that has two main objectives. To make IT more attractive for females and to help female engineers grow in their careers.

Girl Geek Sydney run monthly meetups and an annual all-female hackathon called Shehacks.