When I'm in the test department I usually push test automation with the combined benefit of better reproducability and more extensive test coverage. There is a nice synergy at the intersection of software test and development.
In my last job I designed and programmed a test tool which can set up a consistent test environment for controlling software. A dozen or so programs must be run for a test, and to get the configuration right manually is error-prone. I developed in C# with Visual Studio which I found a surprisingly productive and pleasant experience, given my normal bias towards free software.
I prefer small, clear, fast programs and websites. I like C++ and C#, depending on the task; when using C++, I like to use the STL.
I hold a B.Sc. in software engineering from the Technische Fachhochschule Berlin (now named Beuth Hochschule für Technik).
For further details, have a look at my profile in the German "gulp" freelancer database and at my CV (PDF version).