Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Test isn’t all bad… honest!

While I love hearing everyone’s tales from the world of games test, and can often relate, it does still shock me at times as to just how bad some people have it. Clearly people are being taken advantage of, and Test’s value isn’t being recognized at some companies around the world.

For me, it’s different.

I HAVE worked for one of the biggest publishers, and sometimes it was a bit rubbish. We got let go at the end of projects, no matter how much effort we put in. We crunched a lot, and we always felt undervalued. But my tale isn’t about that company.

I now work for one of the other big publishers, and I absolutely love it. I think the main difference between us and the rest of the world is that we are a relatively new division of that publisher, and we are made up of people who have worked at the other big publishers, and didn’t like the way they did things. So we made testing better. We used to be the ones in those entry level jobs, we’ve experienced the crappy end of the stick - now we’re lucky enough to have the right people in management positions that are giving us the freedom to advance the company in the right ways. We don’t have zero hour contracts, we try to keep people on based on performance, and there are opportunities for even entry level testers to gain a lot of experience and apply for higher level positions as they develop themselves. We’re expanding all the time, gaining more work and more staff, and developing great relationships with developers.

I just wanted to tell everyone who reads these tales and thinks how terrible test is and that it must be escaped, that test isn’t bad across the board. There are companies out there that are great to work at, even some of the biggest publishers. I work in games test and I love my job. I work with people passionate about games and testing, and I get to work with some of the biggest developers and on some of the top titles. If you work in test, you have a great skill, and you can be rewarded if you develop and find the right company - or maybe you can make changes from within.

Hopefully my tale adds a bit of balance to those tales full of hilariously horrible situations, and encourages people to value test as a career. I don’t think I’d ditch this Test department for any of the developers I’ve worked with. Man, do I have some horror stories about them…