LEAP was established in 2015 and was developed as a program to augment our recruiting pipeline. William Adams, a principal engineer with the Azure Cloud Computing team, led training programs for new engineers in India for three years. Upon his return to the US, he partnered with Chun Lu, senior human resources manager, to develop an alternative approach to talent sourcing by creating a modern apprenticeship program called LEAP. The pilot program began in September 2015 with eight participants sourced from Kal Academy and Ada Developers Academy. Since then we have hosted several cohorts, sponsored over 115 participants, and averaged a 51% conversion rate to full-time Microsoft employment as software engineers and technical program managers.
Microsoft's mission: “Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more”. To achieve our mission, we need to create a workforce that represents the rich diversity of our customers. LEAP is a tool to do just that. Our mission, “To unlock everyone’s engineering talent so they can achieve more”.
Meet Our Team
Technical Advisor to the CTO
Background: I have been at Microsoft since 1998. Notable adventures include the creation of XML, living in India for 3 years, the birth of the first Azure services, and the creation of the LEAP program. The greatest thing I’ve done at Microsoft is always whatever I’m currently working on.
Personal Info: I am an avid maker, rediscovering my love of electronics with the Arduino and never looking back. I love to play with 3D printers, and have even dabbled in creating my own 3D modeling program. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my love of the LuaJIT language.
Senior HR Manager
Background: Master’s degree in Human Resource Management, University of Regina, Canada. 10 years of human resource management experience in U.S., Canada, China. Co-founder of LEAP program.
Personal Info: In my personal life, I love to work out in the gym, watch movies, travel internationally, and enjoy delicious food.
LEAP Program Manager
Background: B.A. Ohio State, M.B.A. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Personal Info: I always thought my career path would be in the airline industry. However, after graduate school I came to work at Microsoft as a program manager. I took a break from my career to raise a child. Through LEAP I was able to return to workforce and, more importantly, to Microsoft. I am excited to come to work every day! My work as a LEAP Program Manager allows me to be an agent of change.
Background: B.S. Computer Engineering, University of Florida; M.S. in Interactive Entertainment, University of Central Florida. My professional career started at EA Sports, where I worked on various video games and tools in various languages. I’ve been at Microsoft for about 4 and a half years, where I’ve worked on various teams and technologies.
Personal Info: I enjoy teaching and mentoring new engineers, and I’m passionate about mature software development practices (unit testing and release management, specifically). I have a wife and a six month old daughter, who I love spending time with, so I have no “spare” time. However, if I did have spare time, I would be playing video games, reading, playing piano, snowboarding, or singing karaoke. =)
Apprenti Program Manager
Background: B.S. Software Development, Green River Community College; Microsoft Certificates; Scrum Master Certification. Immediately after graduation I began teaching Web Development and Programming Fundamentals at Green River, which I did for two quarters before being accepted into the 4th cohort of LEAP.
Personal Info: Upon completing my apprenticeship I was invited to join the LEAP team as a Program Manager to help with LEAP and another apprenticeship program (Apprenti) we are managing. These last several years I have been blessed with amazing people who have believed in me and helped me along the way. I'm fortunate and thankful that I'm in a role that I can give back and hopefully do the same for others.
Munir Mohamed Ibrahim
Background: Bachelors in Mathematics with a double minor in Applied Mathematics and Diversity, University of Washington; Certificate in Advance Software Development in Python, Code Fellows.
Personal Info: I'm a software developer for the LEAP program developing internal tools to help streamline the hiring process. I spend my free time lifting weights, working on side projects, and watching shows/movies on behalf of coworkers (because they have children). I enjoy short walks to the soda refrigerators here at Microsoft. It's the little things that matter.
Jasmine Iona Brown
LEAP Product Designer
Background: B.F.A. Design, Howard University; M.A. International Studies, UCLA; Front-End Development, Code Fellows; UX Design Immersive, General Assembly.
Personal Info: After 20+ years of work in the nonprofit and government sector as a designer, teacher and manager I was happy to join the LEAP family, first as an apprentice, and later as a web designer and content writer. Outside of Microsoft, I'm a professional fine artist, writer and photographer. I exhibit in galleries and public venues.