Friday, January 21, 2005

62 Testers

Microsoft has put 62 testers on notice (links: Microsoft Watch, Seattle Times, Seattle-PI, Beta-News, ...)

First of all, if you are a Microsoft tester and not at least a 59 SDE/T:

  • Do not assume large debts.
  • Update your resume and brush up your skills.
  • Save up some money.
  • If you really really want to stay at Microsoft, do whatever it takes to be a 59 SDE/T.
    • But before you do that, consider all your great options elsewhere...

Best of luck to those targeted for layoffs in finding new jobs outside of Microsoft. I believe that software development in general has to realize that for all the capital X's you slap into fad code development practices, you still need a person disassociated from authoring the code to test features and track down bugs that the code's author has a psychological blind-spot to.

I'm tangentially affected by all this and while I certainly wasn't involved in the culling, I knew about the process being used and had plenty of enthusiastic hallway conversations about it. Was this a heavy-weight process simply to move on dead-wood in testing? Perhaps. But in the end, it's provided a lot of transparency and visibility into the testing ranks here. And I think it's a success that should quickly spread and be implemented through-out the company.

For Test. Dev. and PM. (Oh, and the rest of you all.)

So even if you're not a tester and you've sort of plateaued in your Microsoft career, take a moment to read some of those bullet points above.

All managers should re-sync about their reports' core competencies and, for the competencies where the reports are lacking, what is their potential to actually achieve what's expected of them? If they have maxed out then move them on.

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