Even if you don’t know Dona Sarkar’s name, you likely know her work. If you’re one of the 1.5 billion people using Windows, you have likely used something she’s built. If you’ve ever looked for an app or setting on your computer, you’ve probably used the search box that Sarkar’s team made.
Ever used the handy File Explorer tool in Windows? It’s Sarkar’s work. And if you’ve ever logged onto a new device and been elated to find your profile of files and settings intact, you have Sarkar to thank.
But despite the significance of those components, Sarkar sees them — and good tech in general — less as superstars and more as an “invisible fairy godmother.”
“I love the fact that technology we build at this company is invisible,” said the veteran Microsoft software engineer. “It’s there to just help you achieve things. We want tech to be this invisible fairy godmother who makes things happen, so you don’t have to stitch the gown or arrange for transportation. We just want you to go to the ball.”
Sarkar’s ability to make things happen is about to grow, as she becomes the new leader of the Windows Insider Program, Microsoft’s global beta program with millions of members who receive and give feedback on early builds of Windows. The job thrills Sarkar with its potential to combine her skills in engineering and community engagement to build a better product.
“I’ve been waiting 11 years for this job,” she said. “I am very excited about understanding more about what people need from their technology. When I look at businesses, I’m very interested in getting a better feeling for what they are trying to achieve and how we can help.”