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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

I met Lisa through my interaction with Microsoft as a VB MVP. We got a chance to hang out some at Tech Ed 2008 and via the VB mailing list. She's got a great sense of humor and is also one of the smartest people I've met. She's also incredibly busy, so I've been chasing her via email to bring you these NINE Questions with Lisa Feigenbaum:

Bio picture

1. Where are you from?
Los Angeles, in the Encino area. (Yes, like the movie Encino Man.) It’s part of the San Fernando Valley. I’ve toned down the accent a bit since I moved, but my Valley girl roots still come through from time to time. For example, some might recall my Paula Abdul performance at the 2007 MVP Summit’s Developer Idol.

2. I know you work for Microsoft, but what specific area do you work in? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to buy their product?
I work on Visual Studio Languages, primarily Visual Basic. I’ve been on the team for 4 years. Most of my time has been spent as the Program Manager for the Visual Basic Editor and Debugger (intelliSense, code snippets, edit-and-continue, etc.). Recently I switched into the VB Community PM role, where I can think more broadly about how to satisfy our *large* user base of VB developers.

10 second pitch: You should buy Visual Studio because it makes programming approachable, and makes it easier to do cool things! With the .Net Framework, Microsoft languages, and Visual Studio tooling, there is little you can’t do.

3. What brought you to Microsoft?
Maybe first I should answer what brought me to software…  My M.S. & B.A. degrees are in Applied Mathematics, so my first exposure to programming was in math and engineering classes, where we used Matlab, Mathematica, Maple, and Python. There were several occasions for programming. One was to visualize solutions to engineering problems in some kind of UI. Another was to compute results from the discrete models we approximated for analog equations, using numerical analysis. Outside of school, I did a series of internships that were software-related: a website for the Caltech seismology department, cardiology software for Cedars-Sinai hospital, and visual effects for Digital Domain.

When talking with Microsoft recruiters, I was very interested in the company and in the role. I liked the fact that Microsoft brings together so many different industries. I like that the Program Manager role involves both design & technical work, opportunities for creativity, and lots of people interactions, both internally and customers. I was very happy to work on Visual Studio. I remember my experience senior year when they finally let us use VS for the first time our school projects, and I was so thrilled by the product! Tasks that used to take 10min were reduced to 1 or 2. Very cool product.

4. I know you mostly from your role on the Visual Basic team, but that's just one side of you. What's something the world doesn't know about Lisa Feigenbaum?
Do they know that I have a softball gold medal in the Jewish World Olympics? Okay, maybe I should take a step back… Do they know that there is such thing as a Jewish Olympics? :) http://www.maccabiusa.com/.

I’ve played softball since I was 7, continued in college, and now play on various Seattle recreational leagues. It’s a huge passion of mine; I just love to get out on the field. I was at the Olympic Games last week in Beijing (the Olympics that more people have heard of), and watched some old friends play on the team there.

5. I got to hang out with you some at Tech Ed (Developers) 2008. Was it your first Tech Ed? 
Yes, 2008 was my first TechEd US! Other TechEd’s I’ve been involved in are TechEd Israel, South Africa, Southeast Asia, and Japan.

What did you think?  Was it valuable to you as a Microsoft employee to be there?
TechEd is an amazing conference. So many great presenters, opportunities to connect with people, plus lots of energy & excitement!

Yes, I believe it is very valuable as a Microsoft employee to be there. Any opportunity to connect with customers, and to better understand who we’re building the product for is extremely valuable. TechEd fosters relationships that continue throughout the year.

6. Do you twitter?  Facebook?  Love Social Networking or hate it? Do you blog, other than the VB team blog?
I have a love/hate relationship with online social networking. I love it when I need it, i.e. to get in touch with people, or to distribute something. But I hate spending hours on any given site.

I was the 20-something user on Facebook when it first started as a dormitory directory at Harvard, and I’ve kept a profile up ever since. I don’t twitter at the moment, but I’m thinking of starting!

What’s wrong with the VB team blog? (j/k)  I did used to have a separate IDE blog, but we decided to consolidate to create one team blog with maximum content from the team.

7. What's it like working at Microsoft?
Exciting! So many technologies and industries to keep up with. So many smart & analytical people to work with. So many great opportunities to learn, grow, and make a difference. I’m not bored yet.

8. Any non-technical hobbies?  What are they and why?
Yes! I already mentioned softball. Some others are skiing, tennis, swimming, running, camping, dancing, art, travel, and karaoke.

“Why”, you ask? Mostly just because I enjoy doing them! But if I have to rationalize… Skiing and camping are always refreshing escapes from the city. My parents are big tennis players (and actually met on the courts!), so I grew up playing with them. Same with swimming, plus it’s the only thing that the doctors allow during physical therapy. :) Art, because I have a “crafty” side to me. Travel, to explore different cultures, and to learn that the “American” way of doing things is not the only way! Etc.

9. Last of all, any tattoos?
Yes, more than you even! They are tiny dots, and I’ll give you a prize if you can guess how many. You may have heard of the style; it’s most commonly known as “freckles”! :)

Posted on Friday, August 29, 2008 3:12 PM General Interest , NINE Questions | Back to top


Comments on this post: NINE Questions with Lisa Feigenbaum

# re: NINE Questions with Lisa Feigenbaum
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Any relation to Mitchell Jay Feigenbaum?
Left by Kenneth Webster on Jan 11, 2009 8:15 PM

# re: NINE Questions with Lisa Feigenbaum
Requesting Gravatar...
Nope, no relation that I know of. "Feigenbaum" is surprisingly more common than it seems...
Left by Lisa Feigenbaum on Mar 04, 2009 8:29 PM

# re: NINE Questions with Lisa Feigenbaum
Requesting Gravatar...
Yes, yes it is.
Left by Lee Feigenbaum on Apr 13, 2009 8:46 PM

# re: NINE Questions with Lisa Feigenbaum
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Do you have any relatives in New York City, Brooklyn, NY or Glens Falls, NY?
Left by Stanley Feigenbaum on May 12, 2009 10:20 PM

# re: NINE Questions with Lisa Feigenbaum
Requesting Gravatar...
Yes, relatives in NY! Nice to see all the Feigenbaum's responding. :)
Left by Lisa Feigenbaum on Jun 24, 2009 3:54 PM

# re: NINE Questions with Lisa Feigenbaum
Requesting Gravatar...
I saw this posting when googling my wife's name. She is also Lisa Feigenbaum. There a several Feigenbaum's in Central Connecticut. My great grandfather, Isaac Feigenbaum, came to Connecticut from Europe in 1907. He settled in New Britain. Now his offspring are in the West Hartford area.
Left by Barry Feigenbaum on Jul 06, 2009 8:13 PM

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