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HedgeShadow

QA/Cert job questions

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Hello, this is going to be a relatively long and meandering post, apologies in advance. 

So I've been working in Certification for 3 years now, got made a lead 6 months in and it's been pretty good for me but recent events have made me realise I need to start looking to the future more (the referendum result today has also put me in a bit of a panic/bummed out mood), to try and find something more reliable and lucrative if possible. Luckily I live in a very good area for games testing and games development stuff in general (and software testing as well). My main problem seems to be that the majority of jobs in games/software testing, even entry level ones, require experience in testing on platforms we don't do or aspects of testing that either we don't do or we do but they haven't told us what the industry accepted terms for it are, so I've been trying to look that stuff up and learn it if I didn't know it (obviously won't help if I need to know it in a professional capacity but still useful I feel). I've looked into getting some of the qualifications but those will be expensive and if they won't help get me even an entry level job then I can't really justify it.

I've been applying for jobs in other industries as well, like IT support or administration which are things I feel have transferable skills but no luck so far. I've been told by non industry people that the part of my CV dealing with my current role is a little drab and I should put more achievements on there, in the same way that a salesman would put that he sold x number of widgets in a single month or whatever. I'm finding it a bit difficult to do this with a testing job though, concrete numbers and details are obviously things I'm not able to share. Any advice on making a testing job look a little more impressive on a CV and what sort of stuff I should emphasise when applying for non game industry roles would be appreciated.

My other big question is about who does the testing for PC versions of AAA titles, PC versions of Indie games with tiny teams and PC only devs? Most would obviously have an in house QA team but I've never seen ads for QA positions at places that make those games, I assume indies just have one of the devs do bug finding/fixing as they make the game as well.

I suppose I just want some advice, either for progression within games or for a lateral move into another industry and figured I'd sign up to the forums and ask, I know some testers have gone on to have absolutely amazing careers but obviously that is a tiny minority. Just not sure what I should be doing differently.

If anyone has any advice or just stories to share about being a tester and getting out of it into something better, then they would be much appreciated. Like I said at the start, in a bit of a sorry mood today.

Edited by HedgeShadow

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AS for PC only indie devs, usually it's the internal team, as they don't have money to pay testers.

QA people aren't that expensive, but finding people who want to do QA itself, and not just as a stepping stone to a better roke is hard.

 

The other reason why indies and mods don't get a QA dpt. through public channels, since they just ask people they know informally from their community, which  makes full job posts unnecessary.

 

Furthermore, given the small scope and scale of most indie projects, a dedicated QA dpt. would be overkill. 

PS.

your post wasn't that long...

Edited by GeneralJist

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I feel have transferable skills but no luck so far. I've been told by non industry people that the part of my CV dealing with my current role is a little drab and I should put more achievements on there, in the same way that a salesman would put that he sold x number of widgets in a single month or whatever. I'm finding it a bit difficult to do this with a testing job though, concrete numbers and details are obviously things I'm not able to share.
 

 

If you are talking about taking up a different role from QA, a lateral move within the same company is best.  You're already working there, demonstrate that you have knowledge in art or design or programming or whatever you are interested in. I've known a few people who made that move.

 

If you are applying to other companies it is easiest if you were already in the role you are applying for.  If you were in a QA role moving to a QA role at another company that isn't too bad.

 

You can figure out how many bugs you find a month, or how active you are.  You can talk about if you spent your focus on networked gameplay, or finding spelling and grammar errors, or looking for visual artifacts.  You can write about how you worked with the QA team as a group, or if you were embedded with the main development team, or otherwise how you worked.

 

My other big question is about who does the testing for PC versions of AAA titles, PC versions of Indie games with tiny teams and PC only devs?

 

AAA titles have a meaning. They are enormous, expensive, and are usually cross platform. A triple-A game has a budget measured in hundreds of millions of dollars, and a few million of that is devoted to having a QA department with a bunch of testers.

 

Independent games depend on the size of the independent studios.  The largest independent studio I've been at reached about 150 people before becoming an EA shop, and at the studio we had anywhere from 3 to 30 QA folks depending on the phase of the projects.  The smallest independent studio I've worked at had 8 people and one of them was QA.

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