Year in Review: 2017 at Microsoft New York

| MSNY Staff

It seems like yesterday we were just looking back at 2016 — now it’s time for us to look forward to 2018. As the year flew by, we saw our group of civic tech fellows flourish, the city embrace civic tech, and our own team make strides in the New York community.

Here’s a look at our top stories on the New York blog in 2017:


Heat Seek Keeps the Heat On This Winter With Data, Tech & Transparency
MSNY Staff

For many New Yorkers, heat equals health, education, and opportunity. Heat Seek uses technology to defend people’s rights to those things. We sat down with Executive Director Noelle Francois to explore the story behind the app and how it’s making an impact for New Yorkers.


NYC Hacks Shipping at the Ports & Logistics Hackathon
Briana Vecchione, MSNY Civic Tech Fellow

In February, our team at Microsoft NY collaborated with developers, business people, designers, domain experts, and lawyers as sponsors and mentors to bring modern technology to the international shipping industry at the NYC Ports & Logistics Hackathon.


A Letter to Hanna Wallach (From Hanna Wallach)
Hanna Wallach, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research New York City

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we asked local women leaders to write a letter to their teenage and college-aged selves to recall a moment in time when they felt empowered by technology. In this blog, Hanna Wallach, Senior Researcher at Microsoft, tells us about her struggles as a student — and reminds us that if you’re passionate about something and you persevere, even when it’s really hard, you’ll eventually succeed.


Using Data Science to Improve Traffic Safety
MSNY Staff

As U.S. traffic deaths continue to rise, cities across America are increasingly focused on eliminating crash-related injuries and fatalities. Data can be a powerful resource in these efforts to make streets safer.  We’re happy to support this effort, partnering with DataKind, which recently completed the Vision Zero Labs Project. This effort worked to develop valuable analytical models and tools to help the cities of New York, Seattle and New Orleans further their work to increase road safety.


DigiGirlz NYC #MakeWhatsNext
Donna Abrusci

In May, close to one hundred high school girls from the New York Metro area gathered at the Microsoft 11 Times Square office to be inspired to #MakeWhatsNext. There, girls heard from Microsoft’s Felicia Guity, General Manager Worldwide Education Channel, sat in sessions on coding and personal branding, and got to demo new Microsoft technology like Skype Translator.


Changing the Course with Girls Who Code — Meet Sydney
MSNY Staff

Each year, we’re honored to join Girls Who Code (GWC) for their Summer Immersion Program, a free 7-week coding camp where girls across the country are hosted at local tech companies to learn coding, professionalism, and network with each other. And each year, we’re in awe of the camaraderie, innovation, and growth of each of these students. One such student is Sydney H, a 16-year-old from Cornwall High School in NY who took part in our summer program here at Microsoft New York.


The Future of Coworking in NYC — From Microsoft to Beyond
Kaivan Shroff, Microsoft NY Civic Tech Fellow

Organizations like Civic HallPrime Produce, and Cornell Tech have embraced coworking spaces as a means through which distinct organizations can achieve beyond their individual capacities. From co-ops to accelerators, collaboration spaces have started to focus on strategically selecting companies with a shared value set, development phase, or industry focus. Building a community of similarly oriented ventures across sectors and functions allows for both informal and formal collaborations that amplify each organization’s effectiveness and reach.

Congratulations to the Microsoft Girls Who Code Class of 2017!
Donna Abrusci

Sisterhood was the theme of our Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program class this summer. In our Girls Who Code wrap-up blog, Donna Abrusci recaps the summer and congratulates 20 young ladies who finished the program at our Microsoft 11 Times Square office.


Tech Jobs Academy: Building Opportunity
Tzvi Abel Chajet

Tech Jobs Academy (TJA) is a 16-week technical training pilot program for unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers that brings them step-by-step through a full coding education. In this blog, we reach out to TJA grad Tzvi Abel Chajet, who celebrated his one-year anniversary of the start of his new career as IT Support Specialist at the Council of State Governments Justice Center.


In Service with City Year New York
Donna Abrusci

October is the month of Microsoft’s annual Giving Campaign, and to kick things off in New York, we set up an in-office service event for the employees of the Microsoft office at 11 Times Square, in partnership with City Year New York. Our in-service volunteers created 200 school supply packets to be distributed to the students of JHS218 in Brooklyn, New York as academic incentives.

Thank you to all who helped us drive impact in New York and beyond this year.

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