If you are participating in Microsoft's Windows Insider Program then you know who the Ring Master is.
Gabe Aul has been the public face of the popular Windows 10 testing program since its inception in the fall of 2014 and he has been there announcing builds, helping testers with questions on Twitter and even taking some heat for bugs but he has constantly done it with a smile on his face.
Last fall you may recall that he was promoted to Vice President for the Windows and Devices Group Engineering Systems team however, he kept the reins of the Windows Insider Program as well.
Just to give you an idea of what the scope of that engineering team he leads here is the description from Gabe:
" I am responsible for the tools our engineers use to build Windows, including our planning and work management systems, source code management, build infrastructure, and test automation systems. As with most things Windows related, the scale of these services is huge (we have 5 acres of build machines and move 35 exabytes of data per day for source, build, and testing activities.)"
Now just factor in being at the beck and call of over 129K Twitter followers asking about the release of the next build!
As it turns out handling both sets of those duties are a lot for one person, although Gabe was very capable and productive, but there comes a time for these things to change and so Gabe is handing over leadership of the Insider Program effective today.
In the blog post announcing the change for the program Gabe had this to say:
"The experience for me personally working on the Windows Insider Program has been exhilarating, humbling, surprising, and fun. I have been so incredibly fortunate to get to know many of you in person, at events like Build and Mobile World Congress, and virtually via Twitter. I couldn’t be more appreciative of all of your efforts and contributions. Every day working on this program I’ve felt so energized and excited about the fact that we are building Windows together."
Of course, Gabe will still be there leading the engineering team who manages all that hardware and automated testing for Windows 10 and I am sure he will still be a key player when it comes to deciding on when builds are ready for release but now the proverbial red button has been passed onto another Windows veteran - Dona Sarkar.
Although it appears she had a hard time getting that button from Gabe:
Dona has some serious Windows credentials as well according to our former Ring Master:
"She has deep roots in Windows, and started her Microsoft career as a software engineer during Windows Vista where she owned several device-heavy features such as AutoPlay, Bluetooth and Blu-ray integration into Windows. During Windows 7 and Windows 8, she owned the search end-to-end experience as well as a handful of other things including File Explorer and Open/Save dialogs. During Windows 8.1, she got to work on “magic” aka the Roaming/Backup/Restore platform for settings and app data. She also did a stint as the product lead for the Windows Driver Signing portal for Windows 10."
She is coming to the Windows Insider Program from the HoloLens team where she worked with developers, documentation and sample code amongst other things.
Dona says she has been waiting for this job for 11 years.
You can follow Dona on Twitter, yes of course she is there and growing followers by the thousands already, plus you can check out a really cool profile of her on the Microsoft Stories website.
Dona's next big duty is of course to announce her first build release to Windows Insiders and apparently that announcement post is already being written and worked on.
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