Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Unenjoyment: A break from the trenches.

I have been in and out of the Trenches for about 12 years…...

I started as a QA Tester working on Dreamcast titles. After 18 months (we didn’t have yearly contracts back then), some inner QA conflict led to everyone having a “Two week break.” We never returned- only the leads and some top brass were saved.

I was pulled off the Trenches for 2 months..

My next tour of duty was for a First Party company, testing everything Sony, PSOne, PS2, PSP, PS3. I was in the trenches for about 8 years. I have seen some things no QA Soldier should see, a lot of section 8 testers; casualties of Crunch time, some let go for having NSFW content on the PC Screen. I have gotten to believe that all good things don’t last, and the trenches I had called home for 8 years was hit with a nuclear blast labelled “budget and consolidation.”

Only 8 out of the over 270 troops were saved, I went with the masses..

This stint of time away was short for some, as we had some troops make it out before the blast and send word about a company taking off making games for Facebook. Those that were not affected by the fallout jumped at the opportunity, some I never heard from again. I didn’t go immediately, and for a month instead spent the time with my wife and 3 kids, Christmas was…..peaceful, but the sounds of flaming producers, explosively bad builds and the late night camaraderie with the troops in the trenches had me itching to get back in.

The energy of the AAA Facebook gaming company was high, Things were blowing up around me and I was itching to get back into the thick of things. I lasted 7 months before I got a call from a manager friend of mine, wanting me to be a lead for another company doing Facebook games. I took the gig and learned how to command troops. This tour of duty lasted all of 14 months, while my other comrades continued to battle on without me.

I sit now, in the early afternoon, collecting what the others call “Unenjoyment!” working on a cup of coffee and reading the Tales from the Trenches. I often think about some of the young men and women who didn’t make it out in one piece and some, on the other hand, who survived the and landed in trenches of another make and model; Producers, AP’s and developers.

I could get a job in retail, maybe get a job in something people may refer to as “Rewarding” even. But it wouldn’t be QA and it wouldn’t satisfy the itch.