Monday, 4 February 2013

Troubleshooting is Technology Agnostic



There is a concept of Technical Depth within Microsoft. It describes how well a person understands a specific technology. It focuses on specialisation in a domain.

Our straight out of university graduates sit around 100 depth. Our beloved Evangelists sit at 300-400 depth but posses impressive breadth of areas of knowlege. Premier Field Engineers sit at a depth of at least 500. The guns of Microsoft who know things inside out are referred to as CTS. They sit at a depth of 700. Ask them a question on a specific technology and they will recite the code to you. It is awe inspiring.

There have been many situations that I have been called to that required me to act as a problem solver and quasi therapist on. Usually, the client was in a horrid position where they felt they needed Microsoft to bring sanity to the overall moment.

I am a developer. In Microsoft, my role is as a Developer Premier Field Engineer.

In the situations that have required that I march onsite within odd working hours and when the sky is falling, me being a developer seemed essential. The truth is that on these occasions, they did not need a developer. They needed a problem solver.

Often when the sky is falling and your managers, your big big managers, need everything sorted then that is when you call for us. You want a voice of reason. A voice of order that bring calm to a situation. It never seems to matter if I am an expert in WCF or low level debugging. It is more having a person who can clearly see through the haze of panic that brings calm to the situation.

That doesn't mean there aren't people on the ground with that skill. It just means that the kudos of being from the Big M seems to hold some sway. It helps temper the mood. It lets us belay the journey to the solution.

There is merit in this skill. In the skill of slowing the moment and redirecting the effort. There is benefit in working towards a goal in Matrix time.

It has taken me a long time to understand the profit in reactive PFE skills. Now I see what we bring. We bring zen. We bring the martini with a twist. We bring calm to an angry ocean.

Microsoft PFE is trust and effort and knowledge combined. I like that idea.

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