Like many engineers and executives at Microsoft, S. “Soma” Somasegar left graduate school to join the company.
Ken Lambert / Seattle Times
It turned out to be a good decision. He rose to vice president of the company’s influential developer division, and he still ended up getting a doctorate.
Yesterday Soma’s alma mater, Anna University in Chennai, India, gave him an honorary doctor of science degree “for his outstanding achievements in the field of computer science and in appreciation of technical innovation and excellence.”
He graduated from Anna’s engineering school in 1986 with a degree in electrical engineering. He received a master’s in computer engineering from Louisiana State University in 1988, and was continuing his graduate studies at the State University of New York in Buffalo when he left for Redmond’s warmer climate.
Soma also played a key role leading Microsoft to open its India engineering center. The folks in Chennai gave him the honorary degree, even though he located the center in Hyderabad.
Soma is also one of the most prolific and public bloggers among Microsoft’s executive group. He hasn’t mentioned the degree on his blog, though, which most recently was touting software tools to help developers work with Office 2007.
UPDATE: Soma was also profiled by the Hindustan Times, which called him a “Geek God.”