I'm a developer in the Windows Core OS Division. My work involves management of component versions, install, uninstall, and servicing of those components, and various infrastructure pieces. You can see the results of what I do by looking at (on Windows XP, Server 2003, and Vista) %windir%\winsxs and HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SideBySide. I've written XML parsers, object models, various containers, MSI custom actions, tools for dumping the registry, fast string hashing algorithms, and more. This blog (hasn't that term jumped the shark yet?) will be about things I've picked up along the way.
I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. Not to say that a university degree isn't worth it - because it is - but I'm very happy to see more and more "trade school" type programs starting up in Software Engineering. Programming is hard - it should be. Making the art of algorithms and designs into hard science isn't a cakewalk. Most of the tools on the market try very hard to hide the "hardness" of the task from developers. My dream is to one day either teach another set of developers that they can dump the chewy tools.
Software engineering is the "science" part of "computer science." The tradeoffs my team makes often seem odd, but we end up with more code and less bugs overall.
My one wish was that everyone had a single reporting function (whether that's the C++ exception dispatcher, some function everyone calls, whatever) - it sure would make debugging other people's goo easier.