Be Mindful of Sources
Being let go sucks. Losing a job is a huge disruption to your life, and it’s understandable to hate a company, even a good company, for wrecking your status quo.
Some people have more tangibles to complain about than others. Companies do often expect people to spend too much time in the office, and a bad manager can be dehumanizing. Other people, I would say most people, are laid off because they don’t listen, they don’t follow directions, or they have an overinflated sense of importance.
It’s not unheard of for new QA members to act out in ways that they’re entirely unaware of. In an effort to join in on design discussion, the person might go to an open-invite meeting and bore several senior developers to tears, talking way too much. In an effort to join in on art critique, the person might start filing non-bugs that insult the look and feel of a finished game. A little of that is not enough to get you let go, but the people who do these things tend to think that they’re brilliant, and get complexes when better QA people are promoted over them. At a certain point, it’s time to part ways.
Few companies are unassailable by an irate ex-employee. There is always one shitty manager, one backwards policy, or one horror story. If a company was incredible, then people will just say it was “really clique-y,” which is code for, “everyone else got along.”
The reason I am writing this is not to shame bad employees, but to let people who want to work in QA know that it can be a good job, as long as you go to a functioning, happy studio.
If you hear a constant litany about a toxic work environment, then don’t apply to the company in question. However, if the worst you hear about a company is sour grapes from one guy, it’s worth applying and at least going to the interview.
Sincerely, a person who loves their job.