Centre stage with Chris Testa-O’Neill, Applied Data Scientist at Microsoft…

Centre stage with Chris Testa-O’Neill, Applied Data Scientist at Microsoft…

A topical Q&A with a leading light within the IT community.


Born – Lancashire

Studied / Education background – A Business Administration degree, scores of professional IT certifications, and about to start Phd research at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Current role / bio – I am an Applied Data Scientist who lives in the Artificial Intelligence engineering team at Microsoft as a Data Scientist, working with a mix of AI technologies including Cognitive Services, Bots and Machine Learning. As well as engineering, I work closely with partners and customers to ensure that AI technologies are utilised efficiently within businesses process and I ensure we take feedback on product improvements that are implemented back into the products created by Microsoft.


Who do you work for and what does your role entail?

I work for Microsoft and have spent the last couple of years working in the AI Engineering team, working in the areas of Cognitive Services and Bots. I’m about to move into the Data and AI team for World Wide learning to start work building learning materials for customers based on my work over the last couple of years.

What made you choose IT as a career?

When I did a Business degree, I fell in love with the IT component of the course. I made a decision in my final year to focus on IT once I left. So I did a lot of post graduate work in IT professional certifications.

What do you think is required to be successful in IT?

Listen to people, be willing to learn, and work hard.

What’s been your biggest work achievement of the last 12 months?

Helping to bring clarity to a range of customers and partners who have been involved in adding intelligence to their applications, or creating bots with Microsoft AI technologies which has led to a number of implementations

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Don’t be afraid to admit your wrong.

What are your predictions for the IT industry for 2019/20 or beyond?

I see more improvements to citizen data science technologies that makes it easier for more people to perform their own experiments in this space, whether its fulfilled with easier tooling, or automated machine learning.

Join Chris at IP EXPO Manchester, 3-4 April 2019

If you need clarity around AI in the Microsoft space, understanding the components and how it all works together, then both of my sessions at IP EXPO are a must!