We’ve been brainstorming ideas over here at Test-thru-Ology and thought we’d put together a list of our top 10 games tester traits. In no particular order, these are the things that we believe are important aspects of any successful games tester. Check them out and let us know what you think!
10. You Are an Expert Communicator
It should go without saying that being an expert communicator is an important responsibility of every games tester. Whether you work in-house or as an outsourced tester, professional written and verbal communication is crucial. You’ll be talking with people from all departments both in the flesh and through your bug reports. If your communication isn’t clear and concise then things won’t run as smoothly as expected. Games tester should be able to pre-empt potential questions and answer them before they’re even posed.
9. You Are Open-Minded
Open-mindedness is surprisingly relevant to games tester. In the general sense of the phrase, being open-minded is a laudable trait for anyone to possess. In the context of games testers, being open-minded also involves a willingness to test whatever it is you’re required to test. We don’t get to pick and choose what we’re working on and you might not be a fan of the platform or genre that you’re assigned to. The best games testers are open-minded and work to the best of their ability regardless of what they’re doing.
8. You Are Meticulous
It’s a little bit of a cliché at this point but all games testers should have brilliant attention to detail. Finding bugs is arguably the most important responsibility of a games tester. You’re simply not going to fulfil this duty without being meticulous in everything that you do. Granted, some bugs are obvious and could be spotted by just about anyone; but games testers are not hired for their ability to report obvious bugs. We’re needed for our ability to pick apart whatever it is the developers throw at us, searching every nook and cranny for elusive bugs.
7. You Are Tech-Savvy
The average games tester will work on so many different hardware platforms and software types, it’s enough to make anybodies head hurt. You can alleviate the pain by being up to date with the latest technology. Whether it’s PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac, iOS or Android, a games tester must be prepared to work on whatever it is that’s thrown at them. We don’t expect people to have first-hand experience of all the above, but being well-read and quick to adapt is a massive help.
6. You Are a Team Player
The Earth is round. Grass is green. Games testers work in teams. These are some obvious facts of life. Being able to work effectively within a team will be crucial to your success as a games tester. We’re always liaising, sharing ideas with each other and working towards creating the most optimistic atmosphere possible. It’s not hard to spot the differences between a team that sticks together and one that doesn’t. Everyone has a part to play and there’s no such thing a less important cog in the QA machine.
5. You Are Creative
Games are more complicated than ever, and they require creative brains to be tested effectively. We’re seeing an increasing number of titles that are pushing for player creativity as a core mechanic; Minecraft, LittleBigPlanet and Terraria are just a few examples. We’re also witnessing a rise in social media integration and microtransactions in console and mobile games. These systems are complex, and the testers need to be on the ball if they want to ensure that every flaw is found.
4. You Are Enthusiastic
If you’re enthusiastic about games, then it’s quite likely you’ll be enthusiastic about being a games tester. Enthusiasm is contagious and honestly, it’s an important trait in just about every job under the sun. If you’re not enthusiastic in what you’re doing, that’s going to rub off on the people around you. It goes a long way towards improving the general mood in an office and will keep you motivated during the less exciting periods that are bound to come around sooner or later.
3. You Are a Well-Rounded Gamer
Games testers are almost always gamers, but they’re not necessarily well-rounded gamers. What we mean by this is that you’re essentially a jack of all trades. Some gamers focus all of their efforts on a single platform or genre and have become masters of their craft. At Test-thru-Ology, we believe it’s beneficial to have a decent amount of experience across a good mix of games. Being able to jump from a tile-matching game to an MMO to an endless runner without difficulty is a wonderful thing!
2. You Are Innovative
We are firm believers in the idea that games testers should have influence and be able to improve products and processes with their own innovations. A great tester should be able to provide constructive feedback on the product they’re testing. They should have ideas that can improve the QA process where they work. Innovation is perhaps the most fundamentally important thing in the games industry (it wouldn’t exist without it) and it should apply at all levels, including QA.
1. You Are Focused
That brings us to our last point. Games testers absolutely have to be focused on the task at hand. We are often working towards strict deadlines or completing repetitive tasks. Bugs can be present one second, and gone the next. If we’re not focused at all times then we’re increasing the likelihood of things slipping through. If you can maintain your focus when the going gets tough, then you’re well on your way to becoming a successful games tester.
So, there you have it! If you think that you possess some of these traits and are interested in transforming your hobby into a career, then click here to register for the Test-thru-Ology course.