Over at jobsblog they took their first stab at describing the different job roles at Microsoft. They started with the SDE. Here is my .03 on their post.
They missed the career choice that involved simply continuing to focus on code over time without being worried about schedules, planning, or strategy. Every team tries to make sure they have a good mix of these “Veteran Coder” types around. Lars, one of the finest SDEs I've worked with, also pointed this out in thier comments.
In the future it would be cool to have some quotes or examples from the wealth of experience on the in each position.
Seriously, you’ll be writing code in C/C++ and/or C# to develop next gen products from the ground up.
They neglected VB.NET. Truthfully, I'm sure that most developer positions are still looking for someone with raw C/C++ abilities because .NET is still gaining traction at Microsoft. Even here in VS .NET land we don't have much reason to throw out our Core shell features written in C++ but when we a new feature is proposed we take a hard look at deciding if it should be a managed component. Some of them are written in VB.NET and some are written in C#. Our test automation framework is a mix of both. I think more important than language however, is the complexity, nature, and coolness of the projects you have worked on. While VB was never historically targeted towards low level development; VB.NET and C# could truly be interchanged for most tasks. You could be leveraging mostly low level API's with your VB.NET app like we do in our test automation just as easily as you could with C#. The only reason for a bias could be a strong affinity for semi-colons. :-)