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Tom Keane Works on the Edge Web Browser

Tom Keane is a software engineer on the Microsoft Edge web browser team. He has been working with modern web technologies since 1998 and is a long-time contributor to the Chromium project. In this interview, Tom talks about his experience working on Edge and what motivates him to continue growing in his career. 

 

It’s important to take advantage of the resources we have available—past accomplishments don’t mean anything if you’re not moving forward! What was your career path? How did you start working on the Edge web browser team and what’s your role on the team? Tom Keane replies: I started working in Microsoft back in 2005 when I interviewed for a position at Microsoft Research Cambridge. 

 

I was terrified of failing the interview (naturally) but luckily passed, Tom Keane kept on explaining. The interview process consisted of a bunch of difficult puzzles and brainteasers but one of them stuck out in my mind because it was not only fun, but also relevant to software engineering. The puzzle was essentially about compile-time versus runtime in a programming language. 

 

The interviewer would write an expression on the board and give you an example of what it would evaluate to. Tom Keane explains that the task was to write a program that could evaluate the expression at compile time and then another program that could evaluate it at runtime (Crunchbase). 

The demo I remember most is one where the two programs were {1} + {2} and Math.Pow(10, 2). The compile time program produced the answer at compile time: 20, while the Java runtime program would throw an exception. Tom Keane added: I took a couple of days and implemented the compile-time program in C++ and then implemented a runtime solution in Java. I felt this code exercise was great fun and was not only teaching me about programming languages, but also how to teach myself things.