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December 15, 2011

Who built that button? Now you know.

Members of the Windows Phone Engineering "Shell" Team. Clockwise from top left: Ricardo Espinoza, Sue Loh, Josh Phillips, and James Drage

The Microsoft News Center today offers a fun peek behind the curtain at some of the people responsible for what Slate’s Farhad Manjoo recently called “the best-looking smartphone operating system in the industry,” cornering four members of the Windows Phone engineering team for an eclectic, wide-ranging Q&A on happiness, superpowers, and building Windows Phone 7.5.

Even non-geeks should find it interesting.

The group—James Drage, Ricardo Espinoza, Josh Phillips, and Sue Loh—are part of engineering’s Shell Team. As its name suggests, the Shell Team is responsible for constructing the phone’s award-winning interface: the stuff you see and touch on the screen. They take the vision of the phone’s designers, translate it into the language of machines, and bring it to life.

One of the best things about the job? The “Mom factor”.

Explains Drage: “You can show your Mom exactly what you’re working on, and she’ll get it.”