For reasons that I won’t go into here, I was reviewing my employment history at Microsoft this past week. I’ve basically had three types of jobs since joining: developer support engineer, SDET, and SDET lead/manager. The thing that surprised me is that in my 17+ years at the company only a little over a year was spent as an SDET. I moved pretty quickly from SDET to SDET lead. As I now move back to an SDET IC role I’m realizing that I’ll have a lot of learning and, more, practicing to do to get to where I feel I need to be as a senior SDET. As a lead/manager, you do have some exposure to the field but it’s not like actually doing the work. I’m way down the 10,000 hour ladder as an SDET IC. Lots of work to do.