Before I considered applying for a job in QA I read quite a bit of forum posts filled with horror stories about how everybody treats you like garbage, about long hours and horrible working conditions and so on. Add all that to the fact that job offering was for one the biggest and most hated publisher (you know who I’m talking about) and you can imagine that I was a bit scared… but hey, money is money and I needed it.
After a few days on one of their biggest AAA titles I found out that things were completely different. Everybody was great to me, from the people in HR to the leads and the other, more experienced testers. They’d give us whatever fruits were in season for free and the vending machines had the lowest possible prices for everything. During summer we also had free ice cream on Fridays. Crunch time? Sure. But the overtime was paid double and it was entirely optional. I remember one time, people were somewhat reluctant to sign up for one particular weekend… the solution? They offered free pizza to whoever came. Needless to say people started fighting over the limited spots. Graveyard shift? Sure, your cab fee would be paid by the company at the end of each month. Medical insurance? Got that too, the most expensive package at a private company.
The pay was however pretty damn low. Almost the minimum wage… I am pretty sure that the lady that brought fruits to the desks every day was making a lot more than us. And work was pretty much work. You had to be noticed by either gaining a lot of knowledge about the game and how certain tasks need to be performed or by entering a lot of bugs. If nobody knew you were alive by the end of your first week you’d get a warning and if you didn’t show any improvement fast you were out.
What I’m trying to say is that… hey, it’s not all bad. Don’t believe what everybody says, don’t hop on brainless hate wagons and try out things for yourself, you might be surprised.