Challenges in Test – Introduction


This time of year at Microsoft is when we have what we call our Mid Year Career Discussion (MYCD). Note that this is not a Mid Year Review, but instead a Career Discussion as the intent is for you to specifically reflect on & discuss your career development. As such I was reflecting on a topic that I have seen discussed externally. What is an SDET & why would I want to be one?

This series of posts is not by any means authoritative, but instead meant to give you some food for thought about the types of challenges you can expect to face. So if you are considering a position as a SDET with Microsoft & wondering what you might be able to expect, or just a customer curious about the role of a SDET at Microsoft I hope you find the coming posts useful & informative.

In the following series of posts, I will cover the following things that test must do to help develop a successful product.

  1. Know your productYou may be assigned a couple feature areas, but many times just knowing your own area is not enough to ensure good test coverage.
  2. Knowing the code & sometimes ignoring itImproving test coverage is about knowing how the product code works & at other times ignoring how it works.
  3. Knowing your customerYour team has developed a great new whiz bang product, but do you understand the problems that it will solve for your customer & how they will use it?
  4. Proving your feature – It is one thing to test your feature, but how can you prove it is correct?
  5. Impeccable InfrastructureYour tests are only as good & useful as the infrastructure that you use to run them.
  6. Ensuring Testability & Influencing DesignYour team is planning the next big thing, using some awesome new technology, but do you have any idea on how you can actually test it?

So feel free to follow along & let me know if this information is helpful to you or there are other questions you have.

Comments (4)

  1. Nisten says:

    Knowing your customer, how to know how customers use it? do you have any methodologies?  in the testing, it's hard to imitate customers' behavior

  2. Darryl Russi says:

    Knowing your customer is one of the challenges in test.  I will write a blog post about this in the coming weeks, but the short answer is find them, talk to them, attempt to do what they are going to do in the way that they are going to do it.  Sometimes it may not be clear upfront, but you have to continually seek out their feedback & validate the assumptions you are making in your testing.

  3. Craig Martin says:

    I think a lot of us IT Pros deploying FIM could learn a WHOLE lot from your test experience Darryl!

  4. Brad Turner says:

    Excellent information Darryl, looking forward to this level of insight!

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