I need to hire someone who can think for Microsoft

Hey Tom, can I put a job I’m hiring for here that’s not game-related? This place is crawling with technical types…

Edit: Hmph, ok.

We’re looking for a “Software Development Engineer in Test” in the Communities team here at Microsoft.

Why would I get out of bed in the morning for this job?
Yeah, yeah, you’re probably already all “eww, test, that’s what the dumb developers do!” You’re wrong. The way Microsoft does test has virtually nothing to do with the way it’s done at other companies. “Testers” here are not UI monkeys. They aren’t powerless. They don’t do what everyone tells them. They have equivalent or better technical skills than the developers. The projects have equal funding for the development and test disciplines.

It’s a serious career path, not a “starter role”, and in my opinion it’s harder to do properly than development. You beat up every other discipline from day one to make sure no one slips up, and that what pops out at the end is what our customers and the business people actually want.

What do you people do all day?
We deliver three-tier dotnet/sql server applications, reporting/metrics infrastructure, and some other things I can’t talk about just yet because they’re too cool.

You get as much customer face time as you want - how else can you find out the requirements are wrong? We have little to no bureaucracy, and you have virtual carte blanche to define how your do your job. We care about results, not process. Many of our projects have hybrid insource/outsource models, so there’s “opportunities” to work with vendors in both China and India, including oversight/management roles if that’s your deal.

What have you shipped?
Here’s a few projects we’ve recently shipped updates to:

Gotdotnet: http://www.gotdotnet.com/ (Deployment updates ongoing, so may be spotty)
Forums: http://forums.microsoft.com
DHTML Customer Chats: http://www.microsoft.com/communities/chats/chat2/chatunmoderated.aspx
Blog Portal: http://www.microsoft.com/communities/blogs/PortalHome.mspx

What do you want from me?

Know how to think about technology. I ignore the HR filtering process for technical bullet points; if you’re demonstrated you can learn what you need to and you can think, you can learn it here.
Show me you systematically think about risk and can make profitable tradeoffs. Be able to defend your decisions and get them implemented when the entire team disagrees.
Be able to compile code. Have a theoretical CS background and way of thinking, even if you don’t have the degree.
Know how to properly insult other people’s code and make it better.

I’m quivering with excitement, but I don’t have the job yet!

PM me your email address and I’ll get things started.

You just did! What kind of job are you hiring for?

I remember one time Adam at Sierra posted about a couple of jobs, I’m pretty sure there is no policy against it. Nor can I imagine there’d be one.

Also, I have a Bachelor’s in Comp. Sci. and am looking for work. The school I got the degree from just had regular podiums, though.


(Moved to first post)

Whee! My group at work is hiring, too! Gotta be an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, though.

I think it’s nice to see that someone finally admitting that Microsoft can’t think for itself.


Heh. Appreciate the use of quotes around “opportunities”.

Does this have anything to do with that MVP site?

Not really.

I hate dealing with customers, so this job would definitly not be for me. Besides, I have a good paying job now.

If the MS games team is hiring at some point, please post those job listings.

I think we’ve finally figured out why Windows is full of security holes. The testers have better technical skills than the coders.


Dudes, I’m a software developer. I think this type of job is great (but not for me). Leaving testing to people that “couldn’t hack it as programmers” has always been a bad idea, and it’s excellent that Microsoft recognizes that.

Actually, the trend seems to be to take the testing process more seriously than they have in the past.

Of course, there is still the lingering problem that no one wants to be responsible for the problems that come up during testing :)

When I was a little younger (32 now), I thought it would be great fun to work at Microsoft.

Isn’t the corporate culture still very young? As in, they hire young and then after a few years most of the guys move on other companies or their own startups or whatever?

This thread title belongs in the next printing of Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

Writing catchy subject lines is hard. It’s not really english.

Backov, it’s really dependent on the team. We’re awfully young in mine, but others aren’t.

Aren’t most of your testers contractors? We had real problems using Microsoft’s testing resources for a while because all the skilled testers were caught by the Microsoft contractor rule and forced to take “sabbaticals” just as they had learned what they were doing.