I work on a team that debugs windows. Pre-snarky “Yes, I stay busy”. This means I work in Microsoft Support, talking to customers and internal support staff about two key types of issues:

  1. Crash, hang, or dump.
  2. Configured correctly and still not working.

The Tools:

  • Debugging Tools for Windows (Windbg)
  • Windows Performance Toolkit (XPerf)
  • Anything else we need to solve an issue:
    • All tools that end with “mon” (i.e. Procmon, Netmon, etc.)

The skills

  • Above all others: Ability to work with people: customers, internal staff, internal teams, etc.
  • Culture fit: When we interview, we look for people with values that align well with the Zappos Core Values 
  • Troubleshooting: Think Kepner Tregoe’s customer issue resolution
  • Software critic (ability to read and understand code): We read a lot of Windows code. This includes assembly, C, C++, C#, STL, ATL, blah blah. Lots of different code, with a wide variety of programmers.
  • Crazy fast learning skills. We, Microsoft are shipping new versions at a rapid pace. These new versions come with new features. When they don’t work, we have to go from 0-60 in a very shot amount of time.
  • Great teachers, but better students. We need people to make us better at what we do. This involves sharing what you know. At the same time, we need to have people that are willing to be great students. Great listeners. Great note takers. People who are learning in order to teach. If you can’t teach it, you don’t know it.

 

We take a problem, determine what data is needed, and use this data to determine what the problem is. If the problem is with Microsoft code, we engage the product group and work with them to get a fix. Net result is a hotfix/Windows Update.

This is the hardest job I have ever had. It is challenging, but always fun. There is a lot of satisfaction is being able to take a reported problem, and follow that through to a fix that will touch every Windows machine in the world.

Job posting here