The Microsoft campus has copious amounts of greenspace - great swards of grass, bushes and trees everywhere, and a large swath of forested wetlands. The wetlands are left mostly wild, but the rest of campus is kept meticulously groomed by a diligent band of landscapers.

Recently they were out in force fertilizing every last square inch of their domain. I don't know what they were spraying, but it was an evil, sick-looking yellow. While I presume it is good for the landscaping it evidently isn't so good for humans, because the landscapers were encased head-to-toe in thick PVC and wore industrial-strength air filters over their face.

They were doing all this six inches from the sidewalk as I and others walked past.

I was pretty sure I didn't want to be breathing that stuff.

Our customers find themselves in similar situations every day. They're walking peacefully along, getting to wherever it is they want to go, when all of a sudden they're accosted by a big nasty evil dripping horrible mess of a bug.

They are certain that dealing with that bug was *not* in their plan for their day.

My job, on the other hand, is similar to the landscapers': suit up in protective gear (I really need to go buy a crash helmet) and clear out the bugs and weeds and other nasties that infect my domain (i.e., my application) so that my customers can get their job done. I take pride in clearing the thickets of thorns that initially infest my applications and am unhappy when I miss an occasional thistle or two as I inevitably do.

Writing test cases may not be my job, but weed whacking bugs certainly is!


*** Want a fun job on a great team? I need a tester! Interested? Let's talk: Michael dot J dot Hunter at microsoft dot com. Great coding skills required.