This comic just went up on Penny Arcade about the reality tv show where the winner gets to be a videogame tester. I love it. Click the pic for full size.
QA isn’t an easy job, but it’s definitely a fun job. I’d consider it a prize by no stretch of the word. That being said, I think a lot of people see it as a bunch of lazy nerds who have no skills just playing games all day. The reality is it’s closer to trouble-shooting software, and if you go the QA Design route then you need to know all the ins and outs of design, narrative, cinematography, etc. So it’s nothing like sitting at home playing videogames and just getting paid for it. You ARE however working on something you love, with awesome people for a fantastic company (who do more than just give you sludge :P).
I only have 1 week left at BioWare before my contract ends. Because of the EA mandates I cannot be extended again without first taking a 3 month break. PRC team tried to hire me on fulltime salary but HR had their hands tied because of the economy. Sucks, but I can’t complain too much. Had a fantastic 15 months doing an amazing job, and I’ll be back doing it again in 3 months, and get to try for fulltime all over again! I’ve already been told there will be a position waiting for me, probably working on the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO.
In the meantime I may not even get another job. I saved a TON of money in anticipation. I’ve paid off half my car and on my next check will have paid off all 3 months rent ahead of time. I’ve never been on EI yet I pay for it off every check, might as well cash it in. While I’m taking those 3 months off I think I will try to make a small mod using the Dragon Age toolset, so I can come back to work with some new knowledge. And I won’t lie, 3 months of being lazy sounds pretty appealing after the hard work I’ve been doing. I have only had 2 days off since I got back from xmas break, and last week I worked 70 hours. I think I may sleep through my first week off.