Microsoft people forward me lots of Job descriptions. Some of them are more interesting than others. I'm sure there are still a few people reading my blog interested in software testing. If I was looking for an SDET job the following description is from one team I would seriously consider.
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)
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. 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.
How do I get this job?
Reply to Vikas Ahuja (remove .online. from e-mail address) with a resume and he’ll get things started
Here are the official job descriptions.