Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Why am I even here?

I was brought onto an existing QA team to bolster their numbers as they headed towards the forced and planned overtime hours that this particular developer was known for. Despite the dire situation, everybody was fairly relaxed and cavalier about their work, taking extended lunch breaks and playing League of Legends on company time.

One of my jobs was a complete playthrough of the game with a specific set of choices to see if everything played out as expected. Along the way, I encountered numerous audio and video bugs not pertaining to my area, but that seemed pretty critical to the final product given how far along we were in the dev process.

As is the policy, I searched our database for the bugs, and having found nothing, asked the group if anybody had seen them. Our team leader hated duplicate bugs, so he encouraged us to ask each other about big bugs that weren’t entered in case somebody was currently writing one up. When I asked about a particular nasty bug where a critical-path NPC just vanished, nobody answered. I double checked with my senior tester and was told this:

“If you’ve seen it, chances are the better testers have seen it, and the devs probably know about it.”

Even though there were no bugs for all of the late game issues I found, I was told time and time again that somebody had probably seen it, and to just stick to writing up things directly pertaining to my area, even if I came across other larger issues as a result of my testing.

In the end, I had to ask myself: If the devs knew everything wrong with the game, and the more experienced testers had seen but not documented everything I had come across… why am I even here?