Microsoft Security Worker Called Sixth-Worst Science Job

Employees who work in Microsoft's Security Response Center (MSRC) can breathe easy: they don't have the worst job in science.

Only the sixth-worst.

The magazine Popular Science has ranked what it calls the worst 10 jobs in the scientific field, and workers at the MSRC were listed just about in the middle. The article described their jobs this way: "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."

More than that, it's not glamorous or exciting, the way it might appear to outsiders: "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," the article states.

Popular Science has been running the list since 2003, and this year's list has some doozies. They include "Hazmat Diver," right at the top, the worst of the worst. "They swim in sewage. Enough said," the article quips. Other unappealing jobs: Whale Feces Researcher; Olympic Drug Tester ("To combat the inevitable underhandedness at the 2008 Beijing Games, dozens of officers at doping-control stations will watch jocks urinate into cups about 4,000 times over 21 days"); Garbologist (which is exactly what you think it is); and (shudder) Elephant Vasectomist.

"Microsoft is between a rock and a hard place," Marcus Sachs, the director of the SANS Internet Storm Center, is quoted as saying. "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."

Still, on the whole, one has to believe that it's preferable to giving an elephant a vasectomy.

About the Author

Keith Ward is editor of Virtualization Review magazine. You can contact Keith at [email protected].