最近我們和Microsoft有密切的合作, 最主要是想增進我們公司整體軟體開發的能力. 在昨天的會議中, 提到了Microsoft對QA人員的策略, 它讓我想到之前看過的一篇文章. 第一次瞄到時, 還不是很注意. 現在看起來, Microsoft很早就打定這樣的主意.
Test Automation - Takes toll of Microsoft Testers ....
這篇blog文是在2006年寫的, 作者(他以前也是微軟員工)說他看到Seattle times在 2004 Jan報導, 提到Microsoft lay off了Windows group 中62個testers
報導中寫著, lay off的原因如下
1. They had automation so testers not required.
2. They need to cut cost - either send jobs to India (low cost option) or aggressively automate...
作者第一時間覺得很可悲, Microsoft居然走到這地步, 居然相信automation可以取代人腦. 不過因為沒有任何官方回應, 或是內部小道消息. 作者也無法確認Microsoft真正的目的為何. 因此作者post這篇文章, 希望內部知情人士能透露一二.
No testers were laid off because they were replaced by automation. Testers, were, however laid off because they were among a group who:
a) had little or no coding skills
b) had no potential to learn those skills
c) weren't very good testers either
There's a difference, as you know, between button pushers and testers. MS laid off button pushers.
Anonymous because I've probably said too much.
3:41 AM, August 11, 2006
這和我昨天聽到的基調大致相同, Microsoft認為tester要能做manual testing, 也要能做 automatic testing, 不能只是會其中一樣. 所以藉由這樣的理由, 一方面把一些舊的tester轉型, 或是lay off掉, 以提升tester整體的能力.
不過他也再三強調人還是最重要的, 這和這篇文章的作者觀點是一致的. 若是人無法思考, 快速應變, 你有再多automation或是tool, 還是無法解決問題的.
Shrini Kulkarni said...
Thanks anonymous for clarifying about firing of button pushers.
I am not sure about designations of those - were they SDETs or STEs?
Going by what you explained it appears that they were laid off for performance reasons.
I am surprised as why Microsoft did not do a good PR work at clarifying this? Can you point to any official clarification this - article, blog post or some thing like that?
Some statements/views mentioned in the quoted news post point to a story that seem to justify layoff and link them with automation/cost cutting
1. spokeswoman Tami Begasse said there is no correlation between the tester layoffs and the company's growing use of workers abroad. She said the group was restructured because it's automating some testing tasks.
2. In September, the server group said it was cutting 93 positions as part of its move toward automated testing.
3. One factor is the push by executives to cut costs and adjust to the slower growth in the technology industry.
4. The 62 work in the core operating system division, headed by Brian Valentine, a senior vice president. In the past, Valentine has called on managers to consider outsourcing work to India as a way to get more done for less cost.
other thing I would like to know is - will you fire a tester for not having skills for coding?
Having gone through microsoft interview process (at india) - I know that mediocre tester can not make it to Microsoft Job. No coding skills, no aptitude or potential for learning and no good testing skills - Did MS make those 62 hiring mistakes and attempted to correct by firing them at once?
I would encourage you to me write to me to discuss more about this...
11:01 AM, August 11, 2006
Microsoft lays off 62 testers
By Brier Dudley
Seattle Times technology reporter
Microsoft is laying off 62 test engineers in the second round of cuts hitting Windows testers in the past five months.
The company has recently sent test work overseas, but a spokeswoman denied that's a factor. She said automation, not globalization, led to the cuts.
Microsoft notified the employees Tuesday and Wednesday last week, and the layoffs took effect Friday. The testers were given the option of staying, with pay, for six weeks while they look for other jobs in the company.
But finding other test jobs in the company may be a challenge.
The 62 work in the core operating system division, headed by Brian Valentine, a senior vice president. In the past, Valentine has called on managers to consider outsourcing work to India as a way to get more done for less cost.
Microsoft is outsourcing some test work to overseas companies such as Wipro, Infosys and Tata Consultancy in India. It's also expanding its overseas research and development facilities with a new campus opening this month in Hyderabad, India.
But spokeswoman Tami Begasse said there is no correlation between the tester layoffs and the company's growing use of workers abroad. She said the group was restructured because it's automating some testing tasks.
"It's not outsourcing related, offshoring related," she said. "It's simply they no longer meet the needs of this position."
The company initially told employees that 64 people were being laid off, but the number was later reduced to 62.
In September, the server group said it was cutting 93 positions as part of its move toward automated testing.
Separately, the company in August announced that it was laying off 76 employees in its Xbox division.
Layoffs used to be a rarity at Microsoft, but the company has become more aggressive about pruning its ranks. One factor is the push by executives to cut costs and adjust to the slower growth in the technology industry.
The Windows division has also embraced automated testing systems, including tools developed by the company's research group to check for software bugs.
Begasse said the move to automate some testing ultimately benefits customers.
"These changes are designed to improve the quality of our products and efficiencies in delivering them to customers, so the realignment demonstrates commitment to improving test-engineer efficiencies within that group," she said.