Tales from The Trenches Archive

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The inefficiency, she is fierce.

The first time I tried out for a QA job was for a large publisher handling several different titles at once. The QA floor had different sections for each game, but rather than give each tester a computer, every tester had their own station (TV/console) and the PCs to enter bugs were centrally located in the middle of the floor. Note that there were five computers for around, say, fifty people to use.

When you found a bug, you had to:
a) Go stand in line to use the computers, because there were many games being tested and a whole lot of people writing bugs.
b) Log in.
c) Search the bug database for your game to make sure that the bug you’re about to enter hadn’t already been entered by someone else. God help you if you make a dupe! If your bug already exists in the database, go back to your station (and all that time at part A is wasted). If not:
d) Write up the bug as expected.
e) Print out the bug.
f) Log out.
g) Drop the printout in the QA lead’s inbox for review.

Many people saved themselves time by collecting several bugs before going over to the computers, which in turn made everyone else’s wait that much longer. Also, if two people from the same game happening to be entering bugs at the same time, you pretty much had to stop and compare notes to ensure one of you wasn’t about to dupe something the other was currently writing up.

After enduring of a week of this, we were told that they had purposefully brought in twice as many testers as there were open positions, and the half of us with the fewest bugs entered in the database were cut. Seven years and three jobs later, I still make it a point to flip off the building when I drive past it on the freeway.