How Microsoft's Dona Sarkar Juggles Tech, Fashion Designing, Blogging & More | woman at work

How Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar Juggles Tech, Fashion Designing, Blogging & More



Don’t be fooled by her impeccable sense of fashion; she designs her own clothes and owns a pair power negotiation boots. Yes, a pair of shoes like those actually exists. At first sight, Dona Sarkar may look like someone who would never miss a single show at fashion week, but believe it or not, her day job is heading the Windows Insider Program at Microsoft.

Writes and watches tutorials in between work

A strong believer and a living testimony to the fact you can have both, your day job and your dreams and they can coexist beautifully, she is also an author, fashion designer and blogger. It is unbelievable that she often has a minimum of four projects happening at the same time. So how does she navigate her life wearing so many hats on a daily basis? She explains, “If I’m struggling to work on a project for Windows Insiders, I’ll write a chapter of a nonfiction book I am writing, or I’ll sketch something from my fashion line, or I’ll watch a short [tutorial]video.”

Barely gets 3 to 4 hours of shut-eye

For her, using time well is absolutely crucial since she wakes up at 4am and goes to bed only after midnight. For mere mortals, this may be a lot to take in, “I am awake at all hours and have a lot of energy, which can be overwhelming to some people.” She also always starts her day with writing “five gratitudes, five worries, and five intentions. It’s a way for me to prioritize what really matters.”

This weird habit changed her life forever

Growing up in Detriot, no one aspired to become an entrepreneur especially if they weren’t born into it. But, a weird habit initiated by her father since childhood changed her life forever. They would always read The Wall Street Journal together and once got to know about two guys with computer science degrees, who received a million dollars in funding and started their own company. Through this, she realised she wanted to make stuff for a living, being thoroughly inspired by such stories.

The only girl at programming class

With much support from her father, she enrolled in a beginner’s programming class at her local community college; she was the only girl there. Later choosing CS at the University of Michigan, she struggled with tech jargon and concluded she wasn’t smart enough for the course. It took her a couple of weeks to get back her self-belief but once she did, she never turned back and the rest is history. She interned at Autodesk and Intel, and got a job at Microsoft working in the hardware detection department.

A witty article kicked off her writing career

In 2002, she wrote a hilarious article about the journey of a single girl in Seattle and her struggle to make friends which became a hit with young people. By 2008, she published her own book and in 2015 a career-based paperback titled, You Had Me at Hello World. A couple of years back, seeing a beautiful fashion display at a store reminded her of her love for fashion, she soon bought a sewing machine and enrolled in fashion school. Last year, she started using Microsoft’s HoloLens, which lets people use holograms and used it to make couture pieces for family and friends.

Today, Dona Sarkar has not only changed the way the fashion industry designs clothes, but she also transformed the way people perceive women in tech because at the end of the day, you can never put her in a box, in any box for that matter.

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About Author

Amanda Francis

Ever since she cast her eyes on comic books as a child, Amanda has wanted to become a writer. She has two degrees in English literature and loves to scour the internet to write about all the things that intrigue people.

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