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Introduction to the Evil Empire

I survived my first week of work! Finally, my account is activated everywhere (except the MicroNews Ads site, which I can live without for now), I have a cardkey and I have a parking permit. I've been doing a lot of introductory stuff, like setting up my machines, reading specs, reading testplans, etc. Even though I did an internship last summer, I'm on a different subteam, so things are done differently, and there's new stuff for me to learn. Oh, and orientation on Monday was a horrible 6 hours. I'd seen all of their inspirational videos from the intern orientation, and essentially the only thing that was useful was the discussion of benefits, which I could just as easily have read myself.

So for the last year, everyone who has asked what I did at Microsoft has gotten a semi-vague answer along the lines of, "I'm a tester on Web.NET for a product that has not been released yet." Well, since the beta version of the next Visual Studio has come out, I'm able to say more now. First, I guess I'll elaborate on my position. I'm an SDE/T (Software Design Engineer in Test), which means I write a lot of code to automate testcases, find bugs, and perhaps do internal development. While this means I technically don't contribute directly to the finished product, I find that there's a little of everything involved in the job: I test, I write code, and I write specs and testplans.

The next question I usually get is, "What is Web.NET?" Well, to make things even more confusing, there was some team restructuring while I was gone, and now there's a new name for the team that's longer and hard to remember. I think it's something like "Web Tools and Services." Whatever, it's on my office door. Essentially, this is a team under the Visual Studio division (which I often refer to as "DevDiv") that includes ASP.NET, Visual Web Developer (which I'm under), and a recent addition of IIS.

Visual Web Developer is a new product that will be released with VS 2005. One of its main goals is to try to make ASP.NET more popular and to make it easier to develop powerful web applications without having to write as much code. If you're interested, a beta version of this product is available. There's also a free mini version called WebMatrix that's available on the ASP.NET website. As a tester, I "own" specific areas of the product that I'm responsible for testing thoroughly, and I was told on my first day that I'll be inheriting the Gridview control (a more powerful version of the Datagrid control in v1.x), and perhaps other databound controls. It's a pretty good control, so I'm happy with that. I remember trying to make it crash the application last year. :)

So that's a little about what I do, for those of you who are curious. Last summer, I was on the design time side, but now I have to do design time and run time testing, which are done differently in automation, so I've got a whole new set of tools to learn. Oh, and this site isn't powered by Visual Web Developer or ASP.NET. :) I'm too cheap to pay for Windows hosting.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 18, 2004 10:16 PM.

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