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[TRENCHES] Thursday, May 3, 2012 - Usurper

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Super Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited May 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Usurper


Usurper
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/untitled70

Some Shorts!

Anonymous

- We were told we were not allowed to talk to anyone outside QA for any reason, because it might offend them.

- Any time the company received free promotional items, they would send out 2 emails: one to the entire company saying “Come get your free stuff!” then a second to QA saying “not you”.

- Time for bathroom breaks had to be “made up” at the end of the week before you could leave.


Posts

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Time for MacGuyver to jimmy up a new way of making computer games with a magnet, three mice and some vinegar!

    Man, what's with the QA hate?

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Eh. The first one is more reasonable than it sounds at first. Giving people who are hired on for minimum wage a direct line to people who make $60 an hour can have... consequences.

    The other stuff is pretty bad, and the last one may be illegal.

    freefallagentad_zps635a83ed.png
  • KarlKarl Registered User regular
    Time for MacGuyver to jimmy up a new way of making computer games with a magnet, three mice and some vinegar!

    Man, what's with the QA hate?

    Many people see QA as a way into the industry. So you can treat QA staff like shit because there will be 5 people to replace 1 person who thinks "fuck this noise, I'm out".

    I never had any direct contact with developers though, only via senior testers. Understandably, developers demanded absolute proof if any bug was found. And you had to reproduce it 5 times in a row before you could even bother a senior tester.

    Spoiler:
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Usurper.

    I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Or at least I can't really see its relevance to this strip.

    TingleSigBar.gif
    WiiU: JamWarrior Dear Secret Santa...
  • IvarIvar Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    What does "not allowed to talk to anyone outside QA" mean?
    Having to go through a senior QA person for work-related matters seems pretty normal, but I don't see why you couldn't, say, chat with non-QA people at lunch.
    And why would the non-QA people be offended?

    Ivar on
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    Ivar wrote: »
    I don't see why you couldn't, say, chat with non-QA people at lunch.
    And why would the non-QA people be offended?

    Plausible answer: If you make friends with a developer then it's possible for your relationship with them to cause you to not report bugs the same way. "Well, this isn't really major, and I was talking with Jim and he's been working 20 hour shifts..."

    More jaded answer: "Don't let the riff-raff associate with our real employees"

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • IvarIvar Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    El Skid wrote: »
    Ivar wrote: »
    I don't see why you couldn't, say, chat with non-QA people at lunch.
    And why would the non-QA people be offended?

    Plausible answer: If you make friends with a developer then it's possible for your relationship with them to cause you to not report bugs the same way. "Well, this isn't really major, and I was talking with Jim and he's been working 20 hour shifts..."

    More jaded answer: "Don't let the riff-raff associate with our real employees"

    Every bug that's discovered should be reported. Not every bug will be prioritized and fixed.

    Choosing which bugs to fix, and in what order, is not up to the developer, and it's sure as hell not up to the tester.
    If you think a bug isn't major, then report it and mark it as minor.

    Reporting a bug does not necessarily create more work for any specific developer.

    Ivar on
  • theResetButtontheResetButton Registered User regular
    The last one sounds like more work than it's worth to keep track of. Were they actually paying someone to keep track of bathroom break time? Because that's pretty dumb in and of itself.

    Keep honking: I'm also honking.
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    It's entirely possible that when they leave their station they mark the reason for it in some tracking software or something. For instance, the phones at my work when you go unavailable have thing where you select if it was for work, lunch, meeting, or other. Could be a deal like that that ties into the timekeeping system or something.

    steam_sig.png
  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    Talking outside of your department could of stemmed from issues where someone violated the chain of command, or where 1 person was being really really offensive outside their work area where the culture is different. This kind of rule has a whole bunch of possibilties for being legit. Also, companies have similar policies all the time so the wrong people dont learn company secrets.

    I've seen 2 happen a whole bunch, on both sides (where the call center is the majority of the company, so they will send out similar not nice emails that effect them, then we get immediate email to let us know it doesn't apply to the "office" workers.)

    3 seems dickish, but alot of low level jobs do this, you get a break period, it doesn't have to be paid in some areas. and if you dont have your 40 at the end of the week, you have to work until you have 40.

    steam_sig.png
  • SyphyreSyphyre A Dangerous Pastime Registered User regular
    This comic is hilarious, because it is so inane you could see it actually happening.

    "We have a leak, so you can't use your computer" "But, we need them to work" "Work without them!" "But we need...to...argh!*kaboom*"

    Steam ID - Syphyreal --- 3DS Friend Code: 2723-9387-1002
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    Ivar wrote: »
    El Skid wrote: »
    Ivar wrote: »
    I don't see why you couldn't, say, chat with non-QA people at lunch.
    And why would the non-QA people be offended?

    Plausible answer: If you make friends with a developer then it's possible for your relationship with them to cause you to not report bugs the same way. "Well, this isn't really major, and I was talking with Jim and he's been working 20 hour shifts..."

    More jaded answer: "Don't let the riff-raff associate with our real employees"

    Every bug that's discovered should be reported. Not every bug will be prioritized and fixed.

    Choosing which bugs to fix, and in what order, is not up to the developer, and it's sure as hell not up to the tester.
    If you think a bug isn't major, then report it and mark it as minor.

    Reporting a bug does not necessarily create more work for any specific developer.

    I agree with you completely. That's not necessarily what the people that make up these rules think that testers think, if that makes any sense...

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    I've come to the conclusion I enjoy Trenches whenever Q is not in the strip.

    steam_sig.png
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    I've come to the conclusion I enjoy Trenches whenever Q is not in the strip.

    Is it just me, or was that post just one big QQ? :P

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • jackaljackal Registered User regular
    El Skid wrote: »
    I've come to the conclusion I enjoy Trenches whenever Q is not in the strip.

    Is it just me, or was that post just one big QQ? :P

    A Q QQ even.

  • Warlock82Warlock82 Never pet a burning dog Registered User regular
    This may be my favorite Trenches strip :)

    Nintendo Network ID: Warlock
    3DS Friend Code: 4983-4927-6699
    Steam ID: warlock82

    WarlockSoL.jpg
  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    Several things.

    The Strip: I love that mug and I want one

    The story-lets:

    1. Every company I have worked where devs and QA are able to talk to each other, we have created a superior product. Not all companies see it that way (especially the places where they just throw warm bodies at controllers, so QA is a hit or miss affair). I had one company where they actually kept QA in a separate room behind a glass door that we could not open. Only the devs/producers and QA leads could. We had our own exit so we could get in and out, but they didn't want us anywhere near the 'real' employees.

    2. I get this at my current job, they have weekly happy hours and sometimes have free shirts and the like. It doesn't bother me I can't go. I'm a contractor, and there is a legal, if dickish, reason they don't let me go. I can't find an actual link for it but basically, there is legal precedent for a guy suing a company (Microsoft I think) that he was treated as if he was a full employee because he got all the same perks, and therefore should have gotten higher pay. So they never want contractors to feel like they were misled that they were full-time. It sucks, but I consider it motivation to get hired on.

    3. I feel like that's illegal.

    steam_sig.png
  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    I love our QA guys. We have embedded QA - that means that, by and large, our QA team sits in the same offices as us and provides us with direct, one-on-one interaction. And even for those who don't, by and large we tend to have an excellent working relationship. If I need someone to take a look at how something feels or controls, QA is a great resource to have, and I really don't get the 'us versus them' mentality that a lot of developers seem to have. It's foreign to me.

    WATCH THIS SPACE.
  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    vsove wrote: »
    I love our QA guys. We have embedded QA - that means that, by and large, our QA team sits in the same offices as us and provides us with direct, one-on-one interaction. And even for those who don't, by and large we tend to have an excellent working relationship. If I need someone to take a look at how something feels or controls, QA is a great resource to have, and I really don't get the 'us versus them' mentality that a lot of developers seem to have. It's foreign to me.

    I sit directly across from our devs, as in, like 5 feet away. It works very well, but I am aware this is not usual.

    As I said, especially at larger companies/publishers, they just throw people at problems, which leads to the hiring of a very wide assortment of QA. Some are good testers. Some are controller holders. I've met quite a few people over the years that I can understand a developer not wanting to be anywhere near them. Hell, I didn't want to be anywhere near them.

    MuddBudd on
    steam_sig.png
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2012
    vsove wrote: »
    I love our QA guys. We have embedded QA - that means that, by and large, our QA team sits in the same offices as us and provides us with direct, one-on-one interaction. And even for those who don't, by and large we tend to have an excellent working relationship. If I need someone to take a look at how something feels or controls, QA is a great resource to have, and I really don't get the 'us versus them' mentality that a lot of developers seem to have. It's foreign to me.

    I'd can't to go into details, NDAs and all, but I can say that when you get a really solid QA team and developers with open minds, you're going to get superior results. That said, I've heard a lot of stories about devs who are really, really into themselves, and who take being questioned very, very poorly, though I luckily have no personal experience with that.

    Incenjucar on
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  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    vsove wrote: »
    I love our QA guys. We have embedded QA - that means that, by and large, our QA team sits in the same offices as us and provides us with direct, one-on-one interaction. And even for those who don't, by and large we tend to have an excellent working relationship. If I need someone to take a look at how something feels or controls, QA is a great resource to have, and I really don't get the 'us versus them' mentality that a lot of developers seem to have. It's foreign to me.

    I'd can't to go into details, NDAs and all, but I can say that when you get a really solid QA team and developers with open minds, you're going to get superior results. That said, I've heard a lot of stories about devs who are really, really into themselves, and who take being questioned very, very poorly, though I luckily have no personal experience with that.

    Good point, this is the other aspect of it. Devs are people too, and sometimes have flaws. I've worked places that refused to accept bugs that were 'phrased negatively'. IE, instead of writing "The build should not crash" you write "The build should remain stable". Negative words were forbidden.

    steam_sig.png
  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    vsove wrote: »
    I love our QA guys. We have embedded QA - that means that, by and large, our QA team sits in the same offices as us and provides us with direct, one-on-one interaction. And even for those who don't, by and large we tend to have an excellent working relationship. If I need someone to take a look at how something feels or controls, QA is a great resource to have, and I really don't get the 'us versus them' mentality that a lot of developers seem to have. It's foreign to me.

    I'd can't to go into details, NDAs and all, but I can say that when you get a really solid QA team and developers with open minds, you're going to get superior results. That said, I've heard a lot of stories about devs who are really, really into themselves, and who take being questioned very, very poorly, though I luckily have no personal experience with that.

    Good point, this is the other aspect of it. Devs are people too, and sometimes have flaws. I've worked places that refused to accept bugs that were 'phrased negatively'. IE, instead of writing "The build should not crash" you write "The build should remain stable". Negative words were forbidden.

    To be fair, you do sometimes run into the problem of 'QA guys who obviously want to move out of QA and into design', who will subsequently write lengthy bugs about not much of anything which seem specifically designed to show off how smart they are. And, sometimes, when you've been in crunch for five months and all you really want to do is go home and get more than five hours of sleep, even the most seemingly innocuous remark can set you off - the latter is where the 'no negative words' thing comes from, I imagine.

    I've got a fairly thick skin, and have always advocated for more QA involvement. Others do not necessarily have the same thick skin, though - those are the people who didn't come up through QA like I did :P Or, didn't spend four years selling televisions and computers at Best Buy.

    WATCH THIS SPACE.
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I'm a contractor in the IS department of a major mutual fund company. The only difference between my badge and an employee's badge is that mine is solid tan and theirs have a brown smudge on it. Other than that, there is zero difference between how we are treated. They only tiny thing is for insurance reasons, I can't work out in the gym. It was a edict on high that all shll be treated equal within the walls of the campus.

    However, I also get paid more than an Employee..

    I also have really shitty benefits to offset that.

    In the end, it's a complete wash.

    halkun on
  • MulysaSemproniusMulysaSempronius Registered User regular
    halkun wrote: »
    I'm a contractor in the IS department of a major mutual fund company. The only difference between my badge and an employee's badge is that mine is solid tan and theirs have a brown smudge on it. Other than that, there is zero difference between how we are treated. They only tiny thing is for insurance reasons, I can't work out in the gym. It was a edict on high that all shll be treated equal within the walls of the campus.

    However, I also get paid more than an Employee..

    I also have really shitty benefits to offset that.

    In the end, it's a complete wash.
    God I wish being a govt contractor was the same way. I feel more like the QA in the story.
    We were told we cannot speak with the govt employess about anything other than work, and can'tt fraternize outside of work.

    If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
  • MulysaSemproniusMulysaSempronius Registered User regular
    Also, we have to account for every minute on our timecards and bill projects for the work we do- no standard 8 hr days or paid breaks.

    If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
  • DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Talking outside of your department could of stemmed from issues where someone violated the chain of command, or where 1 person was being really really offensive outside their work area where the culture is different. This kind of rule has a whole bunch of possibilties for being legit. Also, companies have similar policies all the time so the wrong people dont learn company secrets.

    Don't get me wrong this isn't criticizing the guy who post this, but the industry as a whole.

    What about hiring full time employees for lower tier jobs, especially if these positions are always available in a big company? Well apparetly it seems cheaper to throw people into these positions, who think that working anywhere in the game industry is the hot shit. Personally I would like to know how a company can keep productivity in these departments, if they have to rehire and relearn new people every few weeks?

    Keeping the right people avoid lots of the "keep them seperate" issues. You have loyal, well paid people who can work closer with other teams and who won't spill company secrets. You can also use tier or layer based system, so that the newly hired worker doesn't have access to certain data in a certain time period.
    I've seen 2 happen a whole bunch, on both sides (where the call center is the majority of the company, so they will send out similar not nice emails that effect them, then we get immediate email to let us know it doesn't apply to the "office" workers.)

    Its still a dickish way to handle this and it most likley reduce productivity or even disrupt the work of the affected people. Especially if they can send a targeted 2nd email to just _that_ department. If you don't want to ruin the "yay, free stuff" vibe of the email with including people who don't get these, then don't send it @ mailinglist-lowest-tier-slave-worker.

    I won't even comment on the bathroom section of the previous "story".

    At the end I think such a corporate culture is based on ignorance. Ignorance of the people who want to desperatly work in the gaming industry that they accept every shitty environment with delusions of "I can work my way to the top" and ignorance of the people who create and run said enterprises.

    Dratatoo on
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  • IvarIvar Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Dratatoo wrote: »
    What about hiring full time employees for lower tier jobs, especially if these positions are always available in a big company? Well apparetly it seems cheaper to throw people into these positions, who think that working anywhere in the game industry is the hot shit. Personally I would like to know how a company can keep productivity in these departments, if they have to rehire and relearn new people every few weeks?

    Keeping the right people avoid lots of the "keep them seperate" issues. You have loyal, well paid people who can work closer with other teams and who won't spill company secrets. You can also use tier or layer based system, so that the newly hired worker doesn't have access to certain data in a certain time period.

    This seems like a good idea in the long run. If flexibility is important, you could always have some full time employees and some contractors.
    That way you'd retain the knowledge and experience that builds up in the team, and it might also be easier to train new employees/contractors.

    At least that's how we do it at the software company where I work, but that's not a game company.
    There might be a more long-term view in non-game software.

    Ivar on
  • AZChristopherAZChristopher Registered User regular
    Dratatoo wrote: »
    Talking outside of your department could of stemmed from issues where someone violated the chain of command, or where 1 person was being really really offensive outside their work area where the culture is different. This kind of rule has a whole bunch of possibilties for being legit. Also, companies have similar policies all the time so the wrong people dont learn company secrets.

    Don't get me wrong this isn't criticizing the guy who post this, but the industry as a whole.

    What about hiring full time employees for lower tier jobs, especially if these positions are always available in a big company? Well apparetly it seems cheaper to throw people into these positions, who think that working anywhere in the game industry is the hot shit. Personally I would like to know how a company can keep productivity in these departments, if they have to rehire and relearn new people every few weeks?

    Keeping the right people avoid lots of the "keep them seperate" issues. You have loyal, well paid people who can work closer with other teams and who won't spill company secrets. You can also use tier or layer based system, so that the newly hired worker doesn't have access to certain data in a certain time period.
    I've seen 2 happen a whole bunch, on both sides (where the call center is the majority of the company, so they will send out similar not nice emails that effect them, then we get immediate email to let us know it doesn't apply to the "office" workers.)

    Its still a dickish way to handle this and it most likley reduce productivity or even disrupt the work of the affected people. Especially if they can send a targeted 2nd email to just _that_ department. If you don't want to ruin the "yay, free stuff" vibe of the email with including people who don't get these, then don't send it @ mailinglist-lowest-tier-slave-worker.

    I won't even comment on the bathroom section of the previous "story".

    Agreed, it is not that hard to create distribution lists.

    Number 3 falls into the not enough information category. The company could be unreasonable. Or maybe this employee takes longer breaks than the rest of the team. Or maybe they have metrics and the employee is expected to be at his desk X% of the day.

    Number 3 sounds like a guy who always goes on smoke breaks while everyone is working, then cries when he is singled out for taking too many breaks.

  • DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I agree, if you spend a long time - like several hours a week with "on the toilet" then something is fishy. If I were the superior I would talk with the employe as well, just to see if everything is alright. For example - I know some people who turn up at work, even when they are seriously sick. And if one guy is sick, it spreads faster than the black death around my workplace.

    edit: The problem I have with some compaies is, that they don't realize that they don't gain extra productivity if they continue treating the employees like second class citizens on a marathon race - especially if they are already doing a monotonous and unrewarding job. If, I for example, have to take a longer bathroom break then it is so - I can't turn my human biology off.

    Dratatoo on
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  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    I've worked places where they were super anal retentive about bathroom breaks as well. It really depends on the company.

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  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    While the rules, taken together, make the company sound like it's run by jerks, anyone else wonder if maybe the company started out without these rules, and they were added one-by-one as the company encountered problems with the QA department:

    1) A QA person talked to someone outside their department and offended them. Maybe they were being super clingy and basically stalking someone, perhaps looking to get promoted out of QA. If this happened more than once, or offended someone high up on the food chain, the rule got implemented.

    2) QA originally had access to promo materials, but one of more QA members abused this access, perhaps taking more than their fair share. Perhaps QA was quicker to get to the promo materials. Developers and others got upset because they lost out due to not being able to leave the task at hand as readily. So ban QA.

    3) I'm guessing QA is paid by the hour. Again, someone could've abused their "bathroom breaks" to get out of work while still being paid. So they announced that they don't pay for any breaks, lunch, smoking, bathroom, etc. You don't necessarily have to "make up" the time lost, but if you don't you don't get a full 40 hours pay.

  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited May 2012
    See, that just sounds like poor management.

    If individuals are not behaving well (abusing access, or being clingy, or abusing bathroom breaks), you don't say "fine, now everyone in your department has to suffer, even if it hurts us as a whole". You sit the people down, tell them this is unacceptable behavior, and make sure that everyone knows that it's not acceptable (not just QA). Maybe you incorporate it into your training materials for QA if you're finding new QA employees often behave this way.

    "One or two people are abusing bathroom breaks so we're going to treat everyone in the group like we don't trust any of you" just seems like it comes from a general disrespect of the group in question. You wouldn't do that to the employees you respect, right?

    El Skid on
    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    It almost certainly was more than one or two problem employees. I've worked at places that have restrictions like that on bathroom breaks etc., and people will still find ways to get paid to do nothing. Lots of people, often. Jobs like that just don't tend to inspire professional pride.

  • DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
    And we are back to square one. If a company just hire temp positions then of course you are getting shitty people. I personally don't mind "time rules" as long they are not overdone. "You are 2 seconds late on your workplace, if it happens again the bomb in your head will explode".

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