Centre stage with Chris Testa-O’Neill, Applied Data Scientist at Microsoft…
Q&A with a leading light within the IT community.
Born – Lancashire
Studied / Education background – A Business Administration degree,
scores of professional IT certifications, and about to start Phd research at Manchester
Current role / bio – I am an Applied Data Scientist who
lives in the Artificial Intelligence engineering team at Microsoft as a Data
Scientist, working with a mix of AI technologies including Cognitive Services,
Bots and Machine Learning. As well as engineering, I work closely with partners
and customers to ensure that AI technologies are utilised efficiently within
businesses process and I ensure we take feedback on product improvements that
are implemented back into the products created by Microsoft.
Who do you work for and what does your
I work for Microsoft and have spent the last couple of years working in the AI
Engineering team, working in the areas of Cognitive Services and Bots. I’m
about to move into the Data and AI team for World Wide learning to start work
building learning materials for customers based on my work over the last couple
What made you choose IT as a career?
When I did a Business degree, I fell in love with the IT component of the
course. I made a decision in my final year to focus on IT once I left. So I did
a lot of post graduate work in IT professional certifications.
What do you think is required to be
successful in IT?
Listen to people, be willing to learn, and work hard.
been your biggest work achievement of the last 12 months?
Helping to bring clarity to a range of customers and partners who have been
involved in adding intelligence to their applications, or creating bots with Microsoft
AI technologies which has led to a number of implementations
What’s the best piece of advice you have
ever been given?
Don’t be afraid to admit your wrong.
What are your predictions for the IT
industry for 2019/20 or beyond?
I see more improvements to citizen data science technologies that makes it
easier for more people to perform their own experiments in this space, whether
its fulfilled with easier tooling, or automated machine learning.
Join Chris at IP EXPO Manchester, 3-4 April 2019
“If you need clarity
around AI in the Microsoft space, understanding the components and how it all
works together, then both of my sessions at IP EXPO are a must!”