A Routine Life is Boring, But Routine Work is Awesome!

What is your routine?  We all have one.  Mostly these exist because there are actions we do every day and we can take the same steps to accomplish them.  For example, driving to work or brushing your teeth.  You can also find routine actions in the work your team does and identifying those can gain…


If You Want It, Then You Aren’t Ready For It

Are you just dying to get promoted?  How about seeing your individual engineering role turn into a lead role?  Many people focus on that next step in their career, and with good reason.  We all look for ways to grow and challenge ourselves.  But many times, people hit a point in their careers where that…

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What are Testers Thankful For?

When I think about all the issues my QA team has to deal with to ship projects, I wonder as we get closer to Thanksgiving what they are thankful for.  What makes their jobs easier or fun?  Two things come to mind. Testers are thankful when their developers produce quality builds.  Getting a build that…


Over-functioning is Not Job Security

You would think that under-functioning teams are bad, functioning teams are just right, and over-functioning teams are perfect.  But in reality, team members who over-function can cause the team dynamic to change in a way that may not be the desired outcome.  At Microsoft, we hire people who are driven for results and it’s a…


QA or Test – does the name really matter?

I’ve been the manager for many different teams.  Some call themselves Test and some call themselves QA.  Personally, I’ve found it easier to just use those terms interchangeably.  But for many, there are two very distinct schools of thought about what a Test team is and what a QA team is.  Maybe at some point…

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Don’t Pay the High Tax!

There are typically two types of individuals at work, ones that are independent and ones that are not.  Sound fairly simple?  Sure, but what exactly are they dependent on?  Their managers.  There are many good, valid reasons that cause someone to be more dependent at work such as being in a new role, learning a…

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Crawl, Walk, Run

Babies figure out how to do it right – how to make progress and get to an end result.  I think we can learn something from them!  If you stood a baby up and expected them to walk, you’ll realize they are not equipped to do this.  They don’t have the skills in their legs…

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The Tale of Two Teams

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land far, far away, there were two teams, umm, I mean villages.  They were run by one manager, I mean one powerful king.  He didn’t have many rules for his villagers, just one, “do whatever it takes to ship”.  For his villagers, this gave them…

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Sometimes Things Just Aren’t Fair

Recently, I met with one of the people that I mentor.  She was concerned because she found people across the company with more senior titles, jobs, and more responsibility than her, but they didn’t have more experience or better skills.  Somehow, they were at the right place at the right time to make big career…

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Mistake or Trend?

Sometimes there are almost too many things going on at work to keep it all straight.  Is it fair to assume everyone on the team will get everything right?  I say no.  Many people you may only see at work, so sometimes it’s easy to forget that they have lives outside of work.  They have…