Career in software testing

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Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. This article only describes one highly specialized aspect of its associated subject. Please help improve this article by adding more general information. The talk page may contain suggestions. This article needs additional citations for verification. Game testing, a subset of game development, is a software testing process for quality control of video games.

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In the early days of computer and video games, the developer was in charge of all the testing. No more than one or two testers were required due to the limited scope of the games. In some cases, the programmers could handle all the testing. As games become more complex, a larger pool of QA resources, called “Quality Assessment” or “Quality Assurance” is necessary. Most publishers employ a large QA staff for testing various games from different developers. Despite the large QA infrastructure most publishers have, many developers retain a small group of testers to provide on-the-spot QA.

Now most game developers rely on their highly technical and game savvy testers to find glitches and ‘bugs’ in either the programming code or graphic layers. Game testers usually have a background playing a variety of different games on a multitude of platforms. They must be able to notate and reference any problems they find in detailed reports, meet deadlines with assignments and have the skill level to complete the game titles on their most difficult settings. A common misconception is that all game testers enjoy alpha or beta version of the game and report occasionally found bugs. In contrast, game testing is highly focused on finding bugs using established and often tedious methodologies before alpha version. Quality assurance is a critical component in game development, though the video game industry does not have a standard methodology. Instead developers and publishers have their own methods.

High-profile commercial games are professionally and efficiently tested by publisher QA department. Testing starts as soon as first code is written and increases as the game progresses towards completion. The main QA team will monitor the game from its first submission to QA until as late as post-production. Testers receive scheduled uniquely identifiable game builds from the developers. The game is play-tested and testers note any uncovered errors. These may range from bugs to art glitches to logic errors and level bugs.

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