AdamU's WebLog

Thoughts and the occasional rant from Adam Ulrich, a Test Manager in Microsoft's Designer Tools Group. All things Sparkle, Acrylic, testing, recruiting and hiring.

  • AdamU's WebLog

    Preparing for Technical Positions at MS: part 1: college campus route

    • 17 Comments
    Matt asked about how to prepare for a technical position at Microsoft. Since there are two separate recruiting engines at Microsoft, I’m going to break my comments up into college candidates and industry candidates to match the paths that people typically...
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    You've got Questions, I've got answers.

    • 13 Comments
    I got some questions on my last blog post, so I’ll do my best to answer them now: Q. How hard is it to get a job at Microsoft? Well, that’s a tough question to answer. There are hundreds of variables there. If you know someone and they submit...
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    Myth Busting Testing #3: Test Automation is like car insurance.

    • 8 Comments
    Ok, Myth #3: An automated test must find bugs to be useful. Here's a scenario for you: you have a car, and you have an car insurance, right? Do you really need car insurance? if you're a safe driver, maybe you have a claim every 5 years, and...
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    Myth Busting Testing #2

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    Myth #2: Testing does not, by itself, improve software quality. I love this one! I must have heard it like a gazillion times. And taken at its most literal, it is entirely correct. Huh? Yep, it's entirely literally correct. So why am I calling it a...
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    Introductions

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    I'm Adam Ulrich, and I'm the test manager for a version 1 tool in the developer tools division of Microsoft. I won't be able to say a lot about this product until it is publicly announced, but I hope to share with you a lot about process, tools, and why...
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    What's the difference between SDE and SDET at microsoft?

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    I was exchanging email with a candidate last night who was confused about the differences between what dev and test do at microsoft, and as I tried to compose my thoughts about what it is that SDETs do, I thought that it would be good to share this on...
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    You've Got Questions, I've got Answers... Part 2

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    OK, here's your chance. Blast away. I did this last year, and got lots of questions from people about how hiring and recruiting works at Microsoft, as well as some test questions. So, what would you like to know? Something about Sparkle? Or Acrylic...
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    Myth Busting Testing and Test Automation

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    I've been reading a lot lately, and wow, there are so many opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of writing test automation. I thought I’d share my observations as to the common misperceptions that anyone in the software development business (engineer...
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    Expression Interactive Designer - Now available!

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    It's been a work in progress for what seems like a lifetime... But as of right now we FINALLY have a build of Expression Interactive Designer (EID) available for public download. We've also updated Expression Graphic Designer with a new XAML exporter...
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    recruiting at Syracuse U

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    I went to Syracuse a little over a week ago to recruit for Microsoft. Since I started on the Sparkle project nearly 4 years ago, I've had the opportunity to go to Shanghai, Romania, Bulgaria, U-Penn twice, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, Va Tech, UCLA, USC, Arizona...
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    on the Frontline

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    Two weeks ago, I spent an entire week at a customer site. This customer is in Raleigh, NC, and I got to see their early progress on a WPF prototype. They see the User Experience opportunities with WPF as a key differentiator in their market. This opportunity...
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    Preparing for technical positions at MS: part deux: Industry route

    • 4 Comments
    If you've been working (or idling) for a year or more since you hung up your full time academic cap and gown, the microsoft recruiting machine considers you an industry candidate. Many of my comments in the prior post about campus candidates will apply...
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    We don't make the software you use, we make the software you use better....

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    BASF used a variation on the above as it's corporate tagline. Michael Hunter , the technical lead for my test team, used this as part of his auto signature for quite some time. It should be the motto for every software test/qa organization. For those...
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    Father's Day Camping - Acrylic Style

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    I was camping this weekend in Central Oregon. Each year my wife's father's siblings (all 8 of them) and many of their children and grandchildren get together (50 to 60 people) and go camping just outside Sweethome, Oregon, which is about 30 miles east...
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    Christmas Presents and teams long since past

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    I went to a White Elephant gift exchange with about 20 other people about 2 weeks ago. What was unusual was that this was with people who were on my very first team here at Microsoft, over 9 years ago. We hadn't had a daVinci team function in a long time...
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    Sparkle Video Link

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    In case you missed the Sparkle Video on Channel 9, here's the link: http://channel9.msdn.com/showpost.aspx?postid=115387 And the NorthFace Concept Video: http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=116327
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    Engineering Excellence and TrustWorthy Computing

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    For the last several years, Microsoft has had days devoted to Engineering Excellence (EE), and to TrustWorthy Computing (TWC). Much of EE days in the last couple years have been about pushing quality upstream, which I interpret as getting more testing...
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    great updates for winXP

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    I've been on vacation with the family and busy with tons of other stuff, and I realized that I hadn't posted in over a month! Wow, time flies. While my next test topic post is a discussion of why you should do test automation (it's about half complete...
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    Why QA? Why Microsoft?

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    I came to Microsoft 8 years ago, happy but a little frightened about a salaried job, happy not to be travleing, and most of all, amazed that I got paid to beat on new technology and make it break, but my goal was to eventually be a developer here. I always...
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    What is Acrylic For?

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    Andrew Watt, an infopath MVP asked, "What exactly is Acrylic for?" Acrylic is intended for pro designers (people who use today's pro design tools) to create rich visual content, primarily for use in user interfaces, either desktop apps or web apps...
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    Greetings from Shanghai

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    I was in Shanghai last week to interview candidates for Microsoft, and got a day to do a little sightseeing. Shanghai is a pretty neat city!
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    Windows Live Local - Virtual Earth

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    I was playing around with Virtual Earth on Windows Live Local, and they've recently added a bird's eye view to the mapping software. Here's a bird's eye view of my building on the Microsoft campus. http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=47.639567...
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    Sparkle and AdamU

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    Well, given that we (finally!) announced today (at PDC) the project I've been working on for the last 3 years, I can now put in my blog that I've been working on "Sparkle Interactive Designer". You can check it out here . And yes, if you get a chance...
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    Will it Blend? That is the question!

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    We're having fun watching the BlendTec commercials since we've announced that the product code named Sparkle is now Blend. Since my last post 6 months ago in July where I visited a company in Raleigh NC, I've been amazingly busy. I've visited...
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    March CTP of Interactive Designer now available

    • 0 Comments
    enjoy! http://blogs.msdn.com/expression/archive/2006/03/09/543851.aspx
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