If you’re interested in becoming a top game tester in the game development field, there are a few things you should look for up front. These traits will help you stand out among the thousands of applicants most developers meet every single year when filling positions.
As a game tester, you will rarely be given a specific breakdown of tasks every day to perform. While you may be given a quota for gameplay and will probably need to work through a variety of bug tracking scripts in the QA phase, more realistically, you will need to work by yourself, constantly pushing through content to find problems.
Problem Solving and Tracking
More importantly, you need to be able to think of ways problems might occur. This isn’t the same as direct problem solving. Rather, you’re thinking of what problems might occur first and documenting them for the programmers. They will do the actual solving – you just provide documentation so they can recreate the bug quickly and fix it fast.
Programming and Technical Acumen
If you are a programmer already, it can definitely help you in getting into the game testing field. These testers need to be able to not only play the game and find the bugs, but describe them. If you can specifically track a bug and pinpoint why it is happening in the code, you can save the programmers a lot of time. It also makes the promotion path much quicker as you strive for higher paying, more rewarding positions in the company.
Experience and Position
If you are 50 years old and have never worked in the game industry, it may be harder to get a position than if you were 22 and just received your college degree in computer information science. This will not necessarily rule you out of a job opportunity, but being young and educated in a related field will definitely help.
If you enter an interview asking about when you get to play new games at home for money, you won’t get hired. The preconceptions about game testing will ruin your job chances instantly if you’re not careful. Know that game testing is a job like any other and that you need to be ready for whatever hardships and learning curve there will be.
Game testing is a very rewarding field with plenty of opportunities for advancement. If you’re interested in getting your foot in the door, start developing a skillset now. Before you know it, you’ll be ready for the big time.
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