In 1998 I took on a job at MGM as a QA Tester, and began to see how the inner-workings of the Development process fit together. Our relationship with Electronic Arts further expanded my education, teaching me how to work with remote teams to better build and develop our titles in harmony, as well as the joys and pains of outside party Publishers. Some of the titles I worked on at MGM include:
Though my career path took me into the corporate world with NetZero, I was still addicted to the lure of MMOGs. Like every MMOG Gamer, I was curious as to the nature of the new games being developed in the genre. As such, I have participated in many Beta programs, where my skills as a QA tester were certainly put through good use. Some of the Beta's I have been involved with include:
As a "dedicated" Beta Tester for MMOGs, I have had the opportunity to develop several communities for the sole purpose of checking out new worlds and squashing bugs. During one beta, the developers had not provided a forum for players to discuss the new release and join together for more comprehensive testing of larger scale PvP scenarios and other issues. I contacted the studio and arranged permission to create my own private forum for testers, and even brought in the key members of the developer's QA Team to view our progress and leave input as needed. Though a significant amount of work for a temporary community, the end result was an effective, organized coalition of Beta Testers.
I have also had the opportunity to Beta test multiple enterprise level software packages, including several Microsoft Operating Systems, Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007, various modules for Salesforce CRM, and countless modules for various open source coding projects. In addition, I also acted as the QA Lead/Manager for several in house custom applications built at NetZero for various business purposes.
If you would like to download this page, including all samples and associated materials, I have also provided them in a printed format.
Testing is the unsung hero of the development cycle, and the success of a good QA team will directly impact the success of the game, as will their failures. To succeed, they need a clear line of communication to the developers, as early a start as possible, and a sound testing strategy that leave lots of room for mini-disasters. Preferably, once a release candidate has been set, QA should have the time to return to all previously fixed bugs AND previously "working" features to verify their complete status.
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