A Glimpse into the Kinect for Windows Team


Jason Pankow is a regular contributor to Dear JobsBlog, but that’s just in his spare time. His real job is devoted to searching the world over for top technical talent – most recently as part of Kinect for Windows. Jason took a few minutes to write about his new recruiting gig with this group at Microsoft. The stuff they are working on is pretty unreal. But don’t take my word for it. Just read what he has to say…then see if you or someone you know is ready to take on a new career challenge in 2012!

About 2 months ago, I started supporting the Kinect for Windows team. At first I was unsure what to expect. Kinect was launched to change the way people play games and experience entertainment. How would that translate to Windows? I honestly had no clue. Here is what I have learned about the innovative and highly gifted Kinect for Windows (K4W) team and the product they’re developing.

The release of Kinect for Xbox in late 2010 not only resulted in a Guinness World Record being set for the “fastest selling consumer electronics device,” but it lit a fire of innovation. Technology savvy consumers and developers quickly saw the advantages of using Kinect to interact with computers using simple gestures, voice commands, and movement.

The transformative powers and limitless possibilities of Kinect became known as the Kinect Effect.

From around the world, people were using Kinect in ways never before imagined. Recognizing this enthusiasm and energy, Microsoft formed the Kinect for Windows group. K4W is a fast growing team that is building the hardware, software, tools and resources to enable the use of Kinect beyond gaming and entertainment. The team has already launched two beta versions of a non-commercial software development kit (SDK) and will be releasing version 1.0 hardware and software in early 2012.

Lead by Craig Eisler, formerly the Corporate Vice President for Microsoft TV, Video and Music Business, Kinect for Windows has the passion, drive, and resourcefulness of a startup while being part of a well-established Microsoft business group. The team has grown rapidly and WE’RE STILL GROWING!

We are actively looking for people with diverse backgrounds and experiences to join the team!

What does it take to succeed in the Kinect for Windows group? I asked Craig who explained, “We’re seeking people who embrace constant innovations and welcome the opportunity to become a part of the journey. As a new group, team members must have the flexibility to accept new challenges and branch into areas that have yet to be defined.”

So…is this you? Currently, the team is hiring software development engineers and technical program managers. Engineer roles are available for a range of skills and experience levels including system development for audio and graphics systems, building and executing automated and manual test plans, and developing SDKs and UI frameworks.

Check out our latest Kinect for Windows job openings for full details on what kinds of qualifications we’re seeking.

Microsoft encourages our employees, partners and customers to “Be What’s Next”. The breakthrough natural user interface (NUI) platform being developed and evangelized by the Kinect for Windows team isn’t just on the cutting edge of technology…it is what’s next!

In early 2012, the Kinect for Windows commercial program will launch — ushering in the use of Kinect-enabled devices in education, healthcare, automotive, retail, and more. This program will also increase the need for people of varying viewpoints, ready to lay the groundwork to enable businesses and industries to utilize the many capabilities of Kinect software, hardware, and resources to create innovative, highly interactive applications and experiences for their customers.

If you are a techy geek like me (and I suspect you are or you wouldn’t be reading this post) keep your eye on the Kinect for Windows team.

Think you’re up for the challenge? Feel free to apply and find out.

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