Portrait of Brendan Murphy

Brendan Murphy

Senior Principal Researcher


Brendan Murphy is a Senior Principal Researcher at the Microsoft Research Centre in Cambridge UK. Brendan joined Microsoft Research in September 1999 focusing on System Reliability. He initially partnered with the Windows group focusing on the reliability of the operating system. To understand how the operating system worked on in practice on the customer site Brendan worked with the Windows kernel and reliability group to develop a telemetry system to capture system failures on customer systems.

Working in partnership with the Windows group Brendan changed his research focus from understanding how systems failed in the field, to try to prevent the failures occurring in the first place. In attempting to understand Windows development and verification process Brendan helped develop a telemetry system that captured Windows complete life cycle. This system has been extended to monitor all development within Microsoft and is being managed and developed various product groups within Microsoft. The initial focus of the research was understanding which technical aspects of the development process impacted system quality, but the research expanded to understand the impact of organizations and planning on overall system quality.

As Microsoft has migrated from shipping software products to a service company Brendan’s research focused on the issues surrounding continuous deployment and experimentation. Brendan initially worked with Bing to characterize the deployment and experimental process. Based on this work Brendan worked with Office to characterize their process, helping to build a telemetry system to track software changes and experiments as they are deployed to the customer systems. This process and analysis engines have subsequently been transferred to the Office group.

As part of his research into continuous deployment processes, Brendan has recognized the stresses it places on the verification processes and also increased verification places increases the cognitive load on individual developers. Brendan’s current focus is how to increase the effectiveness of verification tools while decreasing the cognitive load on developers. As part of this work Brendan is working with a number of product groups and academic researchers from the security and HCI communities.

Brendan represents Microsoft on numerous technology forums, is a member of ISSRE conference steering committee and has sat on numerous conference PC’s

Prior to his current position at Microsoft, Brendan was at Compaq Corporation (previously Digital), Ayr Scotland till August 1999, where he ran the DPP program which collected and analyzed dependability data from customer sites. Prior to working in Scotland, Brendan worked for Digital in Galway Ireland, UNISYS (Scotland and US) and ICL (West Gorton, Manchester).

Brendan graduated from Newcastle University.