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Tales from the Trenches

Maybe It’s More of a Cultural Thing

I’ve worked in QA for game companies in Australia as well as Singapore in the past before moving to a generic IT company to find some stability as a permanent staff instead of a contractor, and I find that I don’t get treated badly like most of these other submissions.

In the companies that I’ve worked for, generally speaking us QA staff sits on the same floor as the dev team, often even right next to each other. In fact one company I worked for deliberately spread out the QA staff so that at least one QA staff sits close to each feature team to make communication easier. We get invited to Friday drinks and yearly BBQs and basically get treated the same as everybody else. We do have to work crazy hours during crunch time, but there’s always at least one dev and one dev manager with us the entire time on top of the QA manager. Normally if we don’t encounter any issues, they’re basically just there to organize food for everyone and keep morale up.

I did encounter one horrible asshole of a manager once. He wasn’t my manager, but he was definitely an asshole. He used to work for a global game company in one of their US studios and within a month of starting he began abusing his staff, screaming expletives at them, making absurd last minute demands caused by his own lack of preparation and just generally being an asshole. He seems to be under the impression that his staff aren’t people. Luckily for his team our CEO (really nice guy) who was doing his regular rounds around the office overheard him on one of his rants and fired him two days later.

I think the problem of testers being treated like second class citizens may be more of a cultural thing in big companies or certain countries more than the game industry in general.