QA Lead – EA Games – 2008-2012
Movin’ on up at breakneck speed.
My first six months as a tester at EA quickly led to getting hired full-time as an assistant QA lead. This was the start of a brief but intense period of working on multiple projects at the same time and taking on more and more of a QA lead’s responsibilities. This was also my first time working directly with game producers to keep them appraised of the project’s status and inform them of ways they could help make the QA testing more effective. The projects weren’t the most exciting–Littlest Pet Shop and Nerf N-Strike–but I learned that smaller projects can allow one to have more ownership of the project.
After another six months, I was promoted again to a QA lead and moved to the massive Sims 3 project. It was an entirely new type of game and testing requirements, and at first I was only one of several leads on the project. I eventually took on the main QA lead role for the game’s first expansion and experienced what was likely the most intense period of crunch in my career. I was so exhausted and stressed by the end that I nearly left the company, but EA had an opportunity to work on an entirely different series of games.
My final set of projects at the company were Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3, games that each had unique expectations. For DS2 I was the lead of the smoke test team, which meant we arrived early in the morning to fire up the latest build and quickly report on build stability. I joined the design QA team during DS3 to assist level designers with specific tasks and to generate progression data that would be used for the game’s checkpoint system.