Wanted! QA Tester!

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We're often on the look out for QA testers here at Hutch, and right now we've got a vacancy in our Hutch Canada studio in Nova Scotia. Want to know more? Or maybe you're just curious to find out more about working in QA? We’ve picked the brains of Development Support Director, Matt to spill the job spec beans and explain what it's like to work in QA at Hutch.

What does it mean to be QA at Hutch?

QA in the games industry has traditionally been undervalued. The assumption is that it is an unskilled job and that anyone can do it. The tendency is to outsource testing and test through brute force (i.e. lots of people testing absolutely everything they can think of) rather than to invest in internal QA teams. Even where QA is in-house, they can be undervalued, pushed to the corner with work assigned to them without much interaction with the development teams, and treated as second-class citizens. I have worked in some truly awful QA departments in my time, one where they would even ring a lunch bell and scowl at you if you dared leave a minute before 6 pm!

When I came to Hutch, I wanted to build something different - a place where QA is embedded within the games teams and are equal partners with developers. This enables us to maintain close communication with the team and shorten those find/fix feedback loops. With this, we can build our understanding of what can go wrong and why, and then target our testing accordingly. This makes for a much more efficient model!

We are trusted partners with a holistic view of the game. We know these games intimately: what can go wrong, what the impact of that will be on the game’s performance and on the game’s community. Our primary role is to inform upon risk - this is based on both what we know (what we have tested already/bugs found) and what we don’t know (remaining coverage/confidence in the level of testing achieved). As the teams mature, they get a strong sense of where risk lies, and this will often inform the schedule or the scope of the coming update. In some companies where the separation of QA/Dev occurs, QA’s opinion of risk may be disregarded. But at Hutch, we are listened to and trusted because the feeling is we are all working together and want the same things: a clean release and a successful game!

The Hutch Bug Prevention Policy

We follow a bug prevention philosophy at Hutch. Why wait to detect bugs in testing when you can prevent them from being created? Again, it is our close relationship with the team that enables us to achieve this. We are involved very early on in the design process and help to close holes in the design and to point to where we feel issues may lie. This is essentially testing with questions rather than actions, and once you start doing it, it is so obviously the right approach. 

This approach was partially prompted by the constraints we had as a small company. It simply wasn’t possible to chuck 20 outsourced testers at a release; we had to be efficient and test smart! So much time and money is saved by spotting and fixing potential bugs before they are created rather than catching them in test (which might end up delaying a release), or even worse, to miss them and have the community discover them instead (which may damage the game’s performance or prompt an unscheduled release).

Career Progression

However valued QA is as a profession at Hutch, we do recognize that for a lot of people, it is their first step in their games industry career. Not everyone wants to or can be a QA Manager, and they may hope to move into other roles in the future. We put career progression at the forefront of our conversations with you, exploring your ambitions and helping you to achieve them. In my time at Hutch, I have seen QA move into Production, Design, Product Management, and Engineering. In fact, it is for this reason that we are recruiting for an Embedded Tester once again. We are backfilling one of these discipline moves.

What are we looking for?

Our Hutch QA recruitment focuses on finding intelligent, personable, and driven individuals who embody a spirit of continuous learning and improvement. We seek those with a strong desire to enhance the game's quality and optimise the QA/development process while demonstrating a hunger to learn and better themselves. 

We have a close relationship with the team that is built upon trust and integrity, and it is important to maintain that by taking a pragmatic approach. We may not be able to fix or test everything we want to in the given time, but that's okay as long as everyone understands and is comfortable with the resulting risk levels. It is not QA versus Dev at Hutch; rather, we are all one team with the shared goal of creating a successful game!

You can find details on all of our current vacancies here: https://www.hutch.io/careers/ 

And for more info on working at Hutch, head here: https://www.hutch.io/careers/working-at-hutch/

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