Ross Smith really enjoys getting a paycheck to “play” with software for 25 years now, over 20 at Microsoft. In September, 2014, he was nominated and accepted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. He is one of the authors of “The Practical Guide to Defect Prevention” and holds six patents. 42projects has aspired to promote cultural change, “bring buzz and laughter to the hallways”. He is a member of the leadership council for the Anita Borg Institute. He was also part of the organizing committee for TEDxSeattle, and has recently been working closely with iUrbanTeen.org and Spreeha.
In addition to his passion for creative techniques to improve the quality of the experience of using software, he’s explored organizational trust, enterprise gamification, management innovation, diversity and the future of education through games and with the Skype in the Classroom program. In December 2011, he was invited to the White House for a discussion on women in STEM. He was the keynote speaker for the American Road and Transportation Builder’s Transovation event in Fall 2014. The work of his teams have been mentioned in Forbes, The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, PSFK, the American Journal of Play, Harvard Business Review, and the London School of Business. He is a blogger for the Society for Human Resource Management's SHRM Blog and regularly posts on management innovation. He is most excited by the current work on Skype Translator.
Briana Roberts, pronounced like brie, the cheese, and then anna, like ban-ANA is a Senior Program Manager in the Windows Engineering Systems team focused on large-scale training and community efforts for the organization. Topics vary from security initiatives to developer productivity tools, with the goal of making it ‘easy’ for Windows developers to be productive and learn new skills. She thrives in environments that enable her to collaborate with others, build relationships, and bring people together. She just recently returned from her second maternity leave and has two tiny humans at home – in addition to a furry, four-legged friend. Briana is a definite extrovert who loves laughing, jumping off high dives and/or cliffs and being in the water, rollercoasters and punk music. She is an open book and doesn’t have much of a filter.