In the gaming industry, developers are often given a ‘godlike status’ for their creativity and ability to create games. However, this has created some problems for the industry as it can be difficult to work with these highly-valued creatives.
The darkflame universe is a game created by Playable Worlds. The lead QA engineer for the company, Mike, has expressed concern about the industry’s problematic godlike status for developers.
Playable Worlds, the business led by MMO creator Raph Koster and promising both a sandbox MMORPG and the metaverse, has a developer profile out this week that provides insight into both the market and the MMO company itself, particularly in terms of QA. Davina Armstrong, a Lead Quality Assurance Engineer, says she’s been working in IT for 25 years and is very good at “breaking people’s code,” but the QA profession has long been misunderstood – to the industry’s disadvantage. Part of this is due to the QA pipeline, which pushes lower-skilled engineers into QA roles despite their lack of training. However, some of it is just misogyny and elitism.
“QA is usually seen as second class and handled as such in the IT sector, but not at Playable Worlds,” she adds. “I’ve also realized that sexism has played a significant role in this. Earning the respect of the developers has been a significant issue in every job I’ve had until this one. They’ve always thought I’m an idiot and have no clue what I’m doing in prior jobs. I’ve had to prove myself to every developer I’ve ever worked with, starting from the beginning.”
Playable Worlds, on the other hand, does not seem to have had this problem.
“Bringing QA in so early in the process was one of the things that truly sold me on Playable Worlds. That has never happened before on a project. I’m also at the same level as the other leaders, such as the client and server leads, as the QA Lead. This simply proved to me that Playable Worlds values quality assurance. I haven’t had to prove myself over and again; people think I know what I’m doing and, for the most part, they simply let me get on with it. […] I believe the lack of respect for QA is due to the industry’s prioritization on developers above all else, elevating them to godlike status. They have the honor of gazing down on Quality Assurance. They get the pleasure of disagreeing with QA, and they nearly always win, which lowers QA’s reputation even more. But then there are businesses like Playable Worlds that exclaim, “Yay, QA!” and more are following suit. That’s incredible.”
Armstrong says she isn’t a big gamer and just works in QA for the excitement of finding bugs, but maybe that’s why she sees the “rockstar dev” issue and its effect on game development so clearly.
QA tester is a job title that has been given to those who test software. The lead QA engineer at Playable Worlds, Peter, talks about the industry’s problematic godlike status for developers. Reference: qa tester.
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