WISE: Artificial intelligence flavour of Microsoft’s ‘Women in Software Engineering’ programme

Artificial intelligence is the flavour for Microsoft’s campus programme for Indian women engineers -Women in Software Engineering (WISE) this year. Encouraged by the success of WISE that started in 2014 in India, the company is now planning to take this programme globally.

“Considering the impact of outcomes of the programme in India, our mentor team is looking forward to take this programme beyond India – starting with a pilot in Africa,” Charumathy Srinivasan, partner group software engineering manager at Microsoft India Development Center. Srinivasan is the lead mentor of the WISE programme.

“We believe that the need to empower young women with technology is global,” she added.

The main objective of this programme, which is running its third year, is to inspire women engineers in their tech careers. This year, 35 women students from five colleges in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were handpicked by a team of women engineers at Microsoft’s Hyderabad office.

As part of WISE, the students develop interesting apps, starting with the ideation phase to actually publishing the apps. “To provide an edge to this year’s learning, we have introduced bots as a part of the deep learning module to expose young women to disruptive technologies, making the programme even more robust,” said Srinivasan.

This year’s programme brings the elements of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing etc, she added. The other components that were added this year to the programme include communication skills and interpersonal skills.

Microsoft mentors adopted WISE programme in 2014 where in the Microsoft women mentors work with partners who interacted in local and regional colleges to offer the women students a platform to build their technical capabilities and soft skills.

WISE mentoring programme began with its first batch of 10 students from BV Raju Institute of Technology.

This year, Microsoft even hired about 4 women engineers…

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