What's the 6th worst job in science?

What's the 6th worst job in science?

Summary: It lies right between the "coursework carcass preparer" and the "gravity research project," according to this amusing top-ten list from PopSci.com


The sixth worst job in science in 2007 is the Microsoft security grunt. Right between the "coursework carcass preparer" and the "gravity research project."

PopSci.com explains why the vulnerability triage folks at Redmond makes its top ten list of the worst jobs in science this year:

Do you flinch when your inbox dings? The people manning secure@microsoft .com receive approximately 100,000 dings a year, each one a message that something in the Microsoft empire may have gone terribly wrong. Teams of Microsoft Security Response Center employees toil 365 days a year to fix the kinks in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office and all the behemoth’s other products. It’s tedious work. Each product can have multiple versions in multiple languages, and each needs its own repairs (by one estimate, Explorer alone has 300 different configurations).

Plus, to most hackers, crippling Microsoft is the geek equivalent of taking down the Death Star, so the assault is relentless. According to the SANS Institute, a security research group, Microsoft products are among the top five targets of online attack. Meanwhile, faith in Microsoft security is ever-shakier -- according to one estimate, 30 percent of corporate chief information officers have moved away from some Windows platforms in recent years. “Microsoft is between a rock and a hard place,” says Marcus Sachs, the director of the SANS Internet Storm Center. “They have to patch so much software on a case-by-case basis. And all in a world that just doesn’t have time to wait.”

BigFix's Amrit Williams echoes my thoughts on this amusing bit of link-baiting.

Topics: IT Employment, Microsoft, Security

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  • Odd definition of science

    So, software QA is now considered a science in the same realm as physics and biology?

    • Crikey!

      That's twice I've agreed with you in one day!!!! (See GO's nuclear blog)

      Ryan - science is a philosohpy and technique. It is a systematic approach for making deductions and conclusion about the world and modelling this information in such a way as to enable accurate prediction.

      The nearest I could get this story to "science" is to propose a model that predicts Microsoft's software has bugs in it.

      I suggest a new title for your article - [i]"What's the 6th worst job in detective work"[/i]? That's a lot closer than science.
      • well.....

        Not arguing here... just pointing out that Ryan was simply passing along what PopSci.com said was one of the worst jobs in "science".

        [b]PopSci.com explains why the vulnerability triage folks at Redmond makes its top ten list of the worst jobs in science this year:[/b]
    • Oh, come on...

      Not everyone with a job in the realm of science is a scientist. One of their previous worst jobs was being a science advisor for Congress (basically, you'd explain science to Congressmen, who would then completely ignore everything you'd said). Do you consider that advisor to be a scientist? Or someone who has a job in science? Microsoft's code monkeys are certainly doing much more hands-on science than a Congressional Aide.
      tic swayback
      • What you say is very true...

        ... a lot of "scientists" are over-paid bottle washers, but that is not the point here. Science is a methodology for undertsanding the natural world. Windows is applied technology.

        In my book that makes the Microsoft people closer to "engineers" than "scientists".

        [i]"Microsoft's code monkeys are certainly doing much more hands-on science than a Congressional Aide."[/i]

        I'd say they are doing about the same amount. The 'softies are definitely doing more engineering and a *lot* more investigating. Remember, politicians specialise in question avoidance, fundraising and eating out.
        • Lighten up Francis

          Eh, it's meant to be a funny article. Sheesh, and you folks claim we Apple fanboys are overly sensitive and have no sense of humor....
          tic swayback
          • Err... I'm not called Francis

            I did know a chap once called "Francis Lynne <surname>" and we used to joke that his parents clearly wanted a girl - Frances Lynn. This was further proved by his initials F.L. which sounded like "Ethel".

            You get one guess what his nickname was.
          • Stripes - It's a movie. Rent it. <nt>

          • I saved myself both money AND disappointment...

            ... by reading the plot summary on IMDB.
          • Sorry, I meant to call you "Psycho"

            Psycho: The name's Francis Soyer, but everybody calls me Psycho. Any of you guys call me Francis, and I'll kill you.
            Leon: Ooooooh.
            Psycho: You just made the list, buddy. Also, I don't like no one touching my stuff. So just keep your meathooks off. If I catch any of you guys in my stuff, I'll kill you. And I don't like nobody touching me. Any of you homos touch me, and I'll kill you.
            Sergeant Hulka: Lighten up, Francis.
            tic swayback
    • Well, that's an easy thing to fix...

      Well, that's an easy thing to fix, just pull an Arkansas and redefine the meaning of the word "science."
  • Yes, "amusing bit of link-baiting"

    The article moves between pointing out the difficult success of the effort and the assertion that it's a failure because of a supposed reduction in the use of Microsoft products.

    In short, anti-Microsoft propaganda.

    The fact this item is listed among physically stressful occupations shows that it has been tacked in to make the writer's ideological point.

    The magazine should have observed this buffoonery and removed it. Any clicks received will only reduce the magazine's reputation.
    Anton Philidor
    • I agree . . .

      this article is an insult to those people
      who actually went to collage and took science classes.

      science is far more difficult to use and understand
      then msshitdows.

      should call this article,
      -- pseudo intellectual non-science for the lame.
      not of this world