Simulating User Traffic to Increase Uptime for Outlook’s Collab Microservice; Utilizing Bjiker’s “Differences in Risk Conception and Differences in Technological Culture” to Analyze Culture’s Impact on Embryo Sex Screening Favorability

Etz, John, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Neeley, Kathryn, Engineering and Society

The legality of utilizing embryo sex screening for the purposes of child sex selection (through abortion) varies across different countries. In some countries such as the United States, there are no restrictions surrounding receiving an abortion after utilizing embryo sex screening. In others like China, embryo sex screening is not legal at all. My STS research paper utilizes historical information to show how differences in legal status as well as public opinion on embryo sex screening are driven by culture. My technical project describes my work done over the summer 2021 working at Microsoft for my internship and can be related as I experienced new cultures while working there.

The technical portion of my thesis produced a new testing infrastructure to monitor the uptime of an internal service titled Collab. Collab is a service that works with Microsoft Outlook to store relevant data for outlook meetings such as meeting recordings, attendance, and notes created. Utilizing another internal framework called XAM (external active monitoring), I set up tests known as “probes” to continually send requests to a Collab endpoint. These probes would perform different REST requests (PUT, POST, GET) and check for correct output after running. Probe results would be logged into a database and alerts would be automatically sent to support teams if probe failure frequency exceeded a given threshold. This testing infrastructure allowed engineers to identify and respond to outages faster, leading to lower downtime for customers.

In my STS research, I investigated the cause of differences between different countries’ views towards embryo sex screening, specifically for the purpose of sex selection. I utilized Bjiker’s framework “Differences in Risk Conception and Differences in Technological Culture” to compare and contrast the different groups as well as researching the history behind different groups which might reveal how differences originated. After completing my research, I came to the conclusion that the reasoning behind differences in perspectives between groups came down to culture.

Without having completed my Microsoft internship prior to doing my STS research, it would have been much more difficult to identify culture as the cause of different views towards embryo sex screening. When I got to Microsoft, it was in a new city across from where I had grown up; the people there had some different norms and culture I had to adjust to. My experience witnessing others’ culture and adapting to it helped me understand how culture made groups have different perspectives.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Embryo Screening, Sex-Selective Abortion, Embryo Sex Screening Ethics

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Rosanne Vrugtman
STS Advisor: Kathryn Neeley

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: