I met Simone when she sat next to me in Church, back in 2012. The Pastor did the whole “before you sit down, say hi” thing and since I was the only one in the row, she was forced to say hello. I am forever grateful for that, considering she is now Mrs. Dunkerley. 

Simone has a passion for big data, analytics and making things better. I am in awe of her ability to just do what needs doing. She was studying to be a librarian when I met her, and now she works as a SQL guru and semi-programmer. I’d be lying if I told you I knew exactly what she does, but she loves it, and so it makes me happy. 

Simone’s love of analytics, accessibility and making things better means she fits the Insider program to a T. After all, that was the mission statement. So what better person to kick off this series of Brave Enough To Click Next than Simone.

So here we go! The format is simple – I have 15 or so questions that I ask. The answers are only edited for spelling.

Ladies and gentlemen, Simone Dunkerley – wife, green belt in taekwondo, tech enthusiast, gamer, podcast co-host and Windows Insider. Find her on Twitter for all sorts of random musings.


What got you into tech?
Can “me” be an answer? I’ve always had an affinity for technology, but as a kid, I wasn’t a strong enough trouble-shooter to consider it a career. Although, amusingly, I did just finish a Bachelor of Computing Systems. But that decision was based heavily on my then-boyfriend, who made computer wrangling sound incredibly easy.

What is your area of specialty?
Speciality = none.
Adequacy = data management.
Reports, SQL, data normalisation, ERDs, business intelligence, my eyes will turn into love hearts.

What do you like about tech?
That’s like saying “what do you like about air?”. I suppose, I use it every day and completely take it for granted. Future technology is always exciting, especially developments in artificial intelligence and ways technology can make life easier for those with a disability. Those kinds of projects excite me the most. Also, good User Interface Design can get me super hyped. I’ll use this moment take a moment of silence for the device formerly known as Windows Phone.

Which or what future tech gets you excited?
I was excited about the Hololens. Not anymore, for obvious reasons. But real augmented reality is something I’ll always hold a light for, and I hope something like the Hololens becomes mainstream.
Genuine smart devices and dashboards are something I hope to see and use in my lifetime. Having something like JARVIS (from Ironman) in my home would be more exciting to me than going to Disney World. And I’ve never been to Disney World.

What about tech do you dislike?
There’s nothing I dislike about technology. There can’t be, really. The machine is there for your service and it’s trying to do it’s best. If there’s a hardware fault, a human can usually be blamed. If it’s a software fault, a human can usually be blamed. Is the device being used for mass destruction and violence? Well, there’s a human behind that too.


Why do you use Windows?
I use Windows because I know how to use it. There’s not a lot of things more important to me than my workflow and learning a new operating system is extremely low on my list of things to learn.

What do you love about Windows 10?
Windows 10, to me, feels like the cleanest Windows. And when I’m working especially, I like to keep everything tidy and in one place. It’s aesthetically clean, which is what really sells it and makes me proud to use. 

What do you dislike about Windows 10?
That watching the colourful bars move during disk defragmentation is not a thing anymore…

If you could change one thing in Windows 10 right now, what would it be?
It’s hard to separate Windows 10 and Microsoft, because my first plea would be to bring back Groove Music. But to answer the question specifically, I would like Cortana to come to New Zealand. We would be perfect test subjects for new developments!
*nudge nudge*

Windows Insider:

How did you hear about the insider program and when did you join?
I’m fairly certain I joined sometime in 2015, not long after the program launched but I don’t recall my experience very well. Again, my then-boyfriend (now husband) suggested the idea to me, and the attempted gamification element was intriguing to say the least.

What were your thoughts on it when you joined compared to now?
Pure excitement. I had my Surface on the Fast Ring in early 2016 for a few months and vowed to test and send feedback on all the new things, hoping to make everyone’s lives better! I felt like I was shaping the future.
Jump to mid-2017, I had lost interest in the program purely due to the fact that I didn’t have time to keep up with changes and provide feedback anymore. Now, mid-2018, after working in a software company, I’m keenly aware the certain types of ‘bug reports’ are written off as user error. Thinking about the Insider Program from the other side was not pleasant. How likely is Microsoft to listen to my feedback and take it seriously? I’ve yet to re-join the program after my latest PC upgrade.

What do you think about the evolution of Windows 10 from the beginning to now?
*tries to recall what the first version of Windows 10 looked like*
*comes up blank*

Where do you want to see the Windows Insider program go in the future?
It needs to live on and there still needs to be a community of Windows Insiders trying to make the platform better for everyone. The program cannot die.
Grouping duplicate pieces of feedback in the Feedback Hub was a way overdue feature that probably cost Microsoft their most valuable users. But the Feedback Hub still has a lot of potential. I have no idea what it looks like these days, but the wealth of information Microsoft have from their users from the app is invaluable.

Thanks Simone for your time! 
If you feel like you have things to add, or would like to be featured, drop me a line on Twitter! I am keen to profile other Windows Insiders and get their perspective on the Program and tech in general.