Apologetics for a Discipline
It’s been already said (c.f. “The Other Side of the Coin”) but I really want to echo: not everything is a screaming mess. Some companies actually learn from their mistakes. Some companies actually have their shit together.
I worked QA for a AAA-studio for 2 years, pushing out live events, patches, 2 expansion packs, and a new product launch. Sure, mediocre management can make your life super uncomfortable. Sure, there are occasional 60-, 70-, 80-hour work weeks as crunch times hit and devs get whipped into overdrive. Sure, there is resistance when people can’t be arsed/don’t have the time to fix bugs that are unequivocally right-there-on-the-Goddamn-screen-don’t-you-SEE-it-read-the-repro-steps-for-Chrissake.
For some places, though, this isn’t the norm; extremes are just that—extremes, spikes in the graph that are normalized by a perfectly acceptable and even enjoyable working environment.
I’ve seen some crappy stuff, sure: sleeping bags under cubicle desks, people getting publicly chewed out for picking quality over quantity, vicious RIFs which hit QA first, etc. I repeat: anomalies.
I don’t mean to belittle the horror stories. This is a forum set up just for ‘em! They are shitty, awful things! I _do_, however, want to pipe up for the Average, for the folks with decently competent management and semblances of proper budget work and scheduling. We exist! We toil! We go home before dark, mostly!