Name: Aaron Myran
Where are you from? I grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
School/grade/major: I did my undergrad at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada where I studied biology. I’m going into my second year of grad school at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Last thing you searched on Bing: Warriors – Cavs NBA finals predictions.
Why did you choose Microsoft’s fellowship program? I’m passionate about making an impact at organizations through building software and improving access to data. Before grad school, I worked as the Deputy CTO at a political action organization and got a good taste of developing technology tools for my organization. I wanted to explore how a global tech leader provides software as a service to make their users more innovative. Microsoft is really leading in this space at the city and national level.
What projects are you working on for your position as tech fellow for Microsoft New England? I’m working with a couple of civic organizations in the Boston area to develop performance data tools and data visualizations/dashboards using some of Microsoft’s technology stack like Power Bi. I’m putting together some video tutorials on the process to make the development process open and replicable.
What excites you about civic tech? I’m not always sure that the next hip ‘app’ is really making anyone’s lives any better. I like that there’s a pretty concrete theory of change behind civic technology: The government provides a bunch of important services (education, transit, voting). Civic tech makes these services more innovate or efficient using technology and validates their efficacy.