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[TRENCHES] Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - Exodus

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited April 2013 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Exodus


Exodus
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/exodus

Observe the screen.

Anonymous

As a newly hired junior programmer I was given the esteemed responsibility of shepherding a content pack for our recently released game through platform certification. It was intended to be a pretty simple job that a newbie like me could take care of all on my own.

Unfortunately for me the platform certification team liked our game so much they happily ignored a large number of bugs and decided to rectify this when the patch required to support the content pack was submitted. They found saved game bugs, sound, language and a whole slew of networking issues. A real crash course in the certification process.

To top it off we didn’t have an internal QA team so I had to deal directly with the publishers QA. They would take a single certification issue and turn it into as many bug reports as was humanly possible, bordering on the ridiculous. If a button state was wrong in an English play session, they would report the same bug for French, German, Italian, etc.

The publishers QA also had a habit of not explaining in any detail what undesired behavior was being reported and instead as the final repo step they placed a single word: Observe. Whenever I read that
word it made my blood boil.

Six months of ‘observing’ and being bounced again and again by certification, I was so pleased when it finally shipped. Much later our own QA team would occasionally throw an ‘Observe the screen’ into
reports just to get a reaction out of me.


Geth on

Posts

  • HenroidHenroid Expect the best! Prepare for the worst!Registered User regular
    This is probably my favorite strip of The Trenches ever.

    Seeking artists for well-paid commissions. PM me.
    If you add me on Steam let me know here in case user names don't match up!
    MyiagrosA Dabble Of TheloniusKoopahTroopah
  • UnluckyUnlucky That's not meant to happen Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    That is one hell of a hacksaw.

    Edit: Cora's expression in panel 2.

    Unlucky on
    Fantastic
  • MorblitzMorblitz Registered User regular
    I'm a little confused. They're locked out of the building, but are able to get access into the basement of the building they're locked out of, to dig up into it?

    3DS Pokemon Y Friend Code: 0645 5780 8920
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  • LorekLorek Registered User regular
    Morblitz wrote: »
    I'm a little confused. They're locked out of the building, but are able to get access into the basement of the building they're locked out of, to dig up into it?

    They're locked out of upstairs, where the actual developers and real employees get to go. QA plebs belong in the basement, so they can get in there no problem.

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  • MorblitzMorblitz Registered User regular
    Oh, right. Thanks.

    Carry on.

    3DS Pokemon Y Friend Code: 0645 5780 8920
    Please shoot me a PM if you add me so I know to add you back.
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    Cora's 'wire pipes' line gave me a much needed laugh this morning.

  • Shakes999Shakes999 Registered User regular
    While conditions in construction are about 100 times better than a QA tester, I can still relate to the sanity/money argument. At least kind of since we, at least, are guaranteed overtime pay . But at a certain point, the money doesn't matter anymore if you are miserable.


    The funny thing ive noticed about construction is you are almost punished for being a good employee. The lazy awful ones skate by and call in whenever they want, never getting fired while the good employees are always shifted to the totally fucked jobs that are looking at 70+ hours a week. It never fails once a job is under control and everyone is excited to be back on 8 hr days, 2 days later everyone who is competent is shifted to another job that is fucked.

    4 years after working massive overtime 10 months out of the year, the money doesn't even matter anymore. At some point you realize your time is much more valuable as is your sanity.

    //as a electrician, Cora's comment cracked me up.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    So here's today's Tale that he's referring to:
    Contract slavery might not be the worst thing.

    Long hours are required in game development. That’s just the way these projects end up. Producers have to schedule a way to create the best game possible before the entire team gets sick of it and quits, which means lots of stuff gets pushed to the last minute, and QA can’t test something that isn’t created yet.

    Because QA comes in at the tail end of a production schedule, they have the final deadlines to hit. While your bosses might not say it outright, you are discouraged from being anywhere but at work for the (your) duration of the project. The large majority of Quality Assurance Testers work on a contract basis, around 6 months to a year in length, and often a month or six will go between contracts. While this can get hard financially, the (f)unemployment period between each contract can be seen as merely unpaid vacation time.

    If a tester gets hired on full-time by a company, they will be working on this project and then right on to the next project. If a tester is made a Lead Tester (a supervisor) they are expected to be around ALL THE TIME during every project. No turning down overtime, no days off for recouping your sanity because you’ve got a team to lead. The pay grade doesn’t go up much, though.

    I have to ask myself, are those couple thousand extra dollars a year worth giving up my sanity-saving vacation time? Do I even WANT to leave entry-level contract work? If game publishers/developers respected their QA, it might be a job I want all year.

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • Ori KleinOri Klein Registered User regular
    Shakes999 wrote: »
    While conditions in construction are about 100 times better than a QA tester, I can still relate to the sanity/money argument. At least kind of since we, at least, are guaranteed overtime pay . But at a certain point, the money doesn't matter anymore if you are miserable.


    The funny thing ive noticed about construction is you are almost punished for being a good employee. The lazy awful ones skate by and call in whenever they want, never getting fired while the good employees are always shifted to the totally fucked jobs that are looking at 70+ hours a week. It never fails once a job is under control and everyone is excited to be back on 8 hr days, 2 days later everyone who is competent is shifted to another job that is fucked.

    4 years after working massive overtime 10 months out of the year, the money doesn't even matter anymore. At some point you realize your time is much more valuable as is your sanity.

    //as a electrician, Cora's comment cracked me up.
    I have not done QA testing so I cannot tell, but I have done construction/electricity.
    I guess it all depends on which landlord (company) you fall; much like in any business.
    Usually, the environmental conditions (a utility-lacking construction site, where there is only (temporary) electricity because you are the one who put it there as part of your job, as well as any sources of light) are definitely piss-poor compared to the QA basement...assuming they have SOME sort of conveniences (an actual toilet sure would be nice! if you're lucky, the landlord placed a chemical stand. IF.).

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    I like how Isaac has been developed as a character who speaks and acts completely on sudden impulses and delusions of grandeur. It amuses me greatly. He may not be the type of person you would prefer to have access to edged tools, though.

    Gaslight on
    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • HenroidHenroid Expect the best! Prepare for the worst!Registered User regular
    If the Trenches comic changes its tone to be more cartoony like this I will start to love it a lot.

    Seeking artists for well-paid commissions. PM me.
    If you add me on Steam let me know here in case user names don't match up!
  • Music-chanMusic-chan Registered User regular
    I have been digging these recent strips. Just wanted to put my two cents out.

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