December 13, 2006

Spit Out

Mahatma Gandhi once said that "you must be the change you wish to see in the world." There may be many things in the world that I am cynical about, but that nugget of truth is the only thing that has kept me going in the games industry for most of my time in it. After all, the games industry is known for picking up young, idealistic talent, chewing them up with long hours and low pay, and then spitting them out.

When I accepted the job at Ritual, I wrote up a document I called the "Game QA Bill of Rights." It was a list of ten items that I had either heard about from friends at other game developers or experienced at Microsoft that I never wanted to experience again. I'll be posting that document later, but please keep in mind for a few minutes that I had an agenda when I came back into the game industry...I wanted to change it by example. I wanted to pull back the veil and show a glimpse inside the industry, as well as prod the industry into changing for the better.

For the most part, I feel that my efforts over the last two years have been a success. The conversations that needed to happen are happening. People are starting to realize that quality assurance isn't a department, it's a process that every department needs to participate in or the customer suffers. Companies are starting to see good quality assurance as an investment in their future. It's just unfortunate that it's going to be one to two years before customers will be able to benefit from what is going on.

I've pushed a lot of buttons over the last two years, and I expect to continue to over the next few years...but at least for the near future, I'm going to be doing so from outside the profession and even the industry.

When I sent out my resumes over the last week, my QA experience was at the forefront of my resume, but it wasn't what interested employers. It was my development experience that people were interested in. Developers wanted to bring QA into their development department, and so that's where I'm going to spread the quality gospel. Once I've rebuilt my warchest, I'll come back...and this time, I'll bring friends.

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