Monday.  It's pouring rain, and supposed to get a bit windy this afternoon.  Yup, it's back to typical Western Washington autumn weather around here, but I'm glad - it's a nice change after all the sunny weather this year!

So, what are Mondays like for me as a software test engineer?

Well, first, I should probably explain that because I work in the Microsoft.com Applications Team, I actually am often juggling more than one project at a time.  Many testers here at Microsoft work on a single product, and probably only on one component of a product. They'll be working on that component for an extended period of time, usually measured in several months or years.  On our team, projects are usually measured in weeks to a few months, with occasional exceptions for more in-depth back end development.  Such is life in web-time! Now, don't assume that means I'm always directly working on the Microsoft.com web site - I'm not.  We have a lot of infrastructure that supports the development of the site, and a lot of tools and services that were developed in-house.  While I do work on what we call "front-facing" applications that you might see on the site some of the time, I also work on infrastructure tools and services quite often. 

Back to the subject at hand.  For me, a typical Monday might include:

  1. Meetings - for some reason, I often end up with a large number of meetings on Mondays. 
  2. Catching up on various items - administrative stuff, emails that came in over the weekend or were put aside as not urgent in an effort to get things done on Friday
  3. Taking care of some of the lower-priority or non date-driven items on the ol' to-do list.  For me, that usually includes some research time or study time.
  4. Well, testing, of course! 

This week, I seem to be light on meetings (yay!!!) and the test environment for my current primary project is in use for some performance testing that requires me to be hands-off, so I'll be catching up on some paperwork - updating a test plan and test cases for another project now that the technical details are available. Hopefully I'll also find time to study for a couple of hours - my next MCP exam looms on the horizon, and it's one that is fairly demanding for me - 70-229: Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft SQL 2000 Server Enterprise Edition . 

Of course, there's every chance this will get put aside in favor of something with a higher priority, and that's okay with me.  The current primary project also supports projects by a couple of other teams - they have user interfaces which point at middle-tier services that our team implemented and owns (though it's actually developed by an entirely different group on campus). That means when they have issues pulling information through that middle-tier, we jump in to help troubleshoot.  In fact, that's how most of last Friday was spent (with good success, though!).  These two teams are working on projects that need to be ready for PDC, so they definitely take priority over things like paperwork and studying.