Keynote speakers 2016

Sit in reverence of these tech giant’s pacing figures - small against the stage and microscopic against the monumental footprint they’ve each left on the industry. Feel the collective, quiet awe of thousands of delegates as they become possessed by the keynote’s resounding words. Be inspired by the voice, the wit, the savvy, the grit. Read on to prepare yourself for all heights of awesome.

Dona Sarkar

Windows Insider Program Lead


Since Dona Sarkar wasn’t born a cat, she’s squeezing 9 lives into this one instead. There’s no such thing as a ‘day job’ for Dona. Especially when you consider cats are nocturnal. Her role as the head of the Windows Insiders Program at Microsoft keeps her busy. It’s everything else that puts her into over-drive. Dona is the founder of the diversity in STEM organization, Fibonacci Sequins. This fall she’s also launching her first fashion line, Prima Dona Style.

She doesn’t stop there. Dona pushes the boundaries of productivity as a published author of 6 novels and a non-fiction. One of these titles, Scattered Ashes, also pushed the boundaries of publishing as it was deemed "too controversial" by 15 publishing imprints.

How would you sum up such a busy life? Dona puts it nicely herself. She says her calling is: to help the next generation prepare for the technical revolution that's about to disrupt everything--again.


Donovan Brown

Senior Program Manager DevOps


Meet The Man in the Black Shirt. Donovan Brown is a Senior DevOps Program Manager on Microsoft’s US Developer Division team. Why is DevOps one of the hottest topics? Because it hurts the most. Luckily, Donovan’s unofficial tag line is #RubDevOpsOnIt and he’s here to make it all better.

Before joining Microsoft, Donovan spent seven years as a Process Consultant and a Certified Scrum Master. Developer Tools are his thing. Donovan has travelled the globe helping companies in the U.S., Canada, India, Germany, and the UK develop solutions using agile practices, Visual Studio, and Team Foundation Server in industries as broad as Communications, Health Care, Energy, and Financial Services. What else keeps the wheels spinning on The Man in The Black Shirt? Donovan’s also an avid programmer, often finding ways to integrate software into his other hobbies and activities, one of which is Professional Air Hockey where he has ranked as high as 11 in the world.


Jennifer Marsman

Principal Software Development Engineer


This year Jennifer Marsman was recognized as one of the “top 100 most influential individuals in artificial intelligence and machine learning”. Her work as a Principal Software Development Engineer at Microsoft has awarded her a feature in Bloomberg as well as the “Best in Role” award for Technical Evangelism. With two patents for her work in search and machine learning algorithms, she’s clearly dangerous with data. Jennifer can use technology to figure out when her husband is lying. And it’s all in a day’s work. Jennifer gets to work on crazy ideas, like lie detectors, to share the predictive capabilities of Microsoft Azure Machine Learning as part of her job. She loves that she is helping developers and companies to make sense of all their data so it can actually be used to make better decisions. Jennifer came to Redmond in 2002 as a Software Engineer after studying artificial intelligence and computational theory during her Master’s degree at the University of Michigan. Now she simply gets to “build cool things, along with the flexibility to do it when and how I want.”