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View Full Version : I probably did a dumb thing today...turned an interview down!


cyclinggimpe
04-13-2004, 02:10 AM
On a whim, I applied for a QA tester at EA Canada. They reviewed my resume and sent me a username and password in order to take an online test; which I did. (I was sure I failed it). I got a call today to see if I was interested in going in for an interview (to my surprise, I passed the test). After finding out the wage and hours, I turned the interview down. $10.00 Canadian is too low for me at this stage in life. I'm not young and have financial obligations already and it is only a contract position (no benefits etc.). There is no way I would be able to survive going from $18/hour to $10/hour CDN! If only I was younger without a mortgage etc. I really would have liked to try this out. Too bad there aren't any part-time or work-from-home QA tester jobs; or are there?

JasonA
04-13-2004, 02:19 AM
Given your situation and living requirements, I definitely think you did the right think. Why waste your time with something that far out of your ballpark. Too bad though, might have been fun...

???
04-13-2004, 02:41 AM
I realy dont understand why soo low.. damn ! A caretaker can earn more money then you. I think the lowest rate per hour in canada is 9$ :hmm:

MikeRhone
04-13-2004, 02:42 AM
I agree with jasonA. That is a huge financial hit that you shouldn't have to take.

Also, it is a little known fact that it isdifficult to 'move around' in EA. The individual departments tend to not like people who use them as a "step up" or as an "in". I have talked with a few who have been and still are QA at EA, and it seems it takes a fair bit of time to move up. I dont know what the upper wages are in QA. (I've only talked with people from the Burnaby location, but seeing your profile says you're in BC, I can assume we're talking about the same place.)

I think you probably made the right choice.

Mike R

Dlarkin
04-13-2004, 02:53 AM
Not sure of the specifics, but Im going off of what you said so I dont have a lot of them...;) ...buuuttt....

A LOT of times, at least here in the states, QA "tester" jobs can be misleading part-time "grunt" work that is honestly not nearly as fun as they try to make it seem.

Also, at least one big studio that I know of, the QA guys are basically temps, with no real chance at "moving up" in the company, simply a monkey filling a spot.

You said yourself you thought you failed the test. Chances are this is another temp monkey job they are simply trying to fill for an (obviously) meager wage.

From what I gather you made the right choice. Good luck out there!

cyclinggimpe
04-13-2004, 03:32 AM
Thanks for the replies, guys. I was starting to think that I made a wrong choice. I only applied there because there is a major slowdown at my work now and I thought I should look into a career change. There aren't any mapping companies hiring right now (I map areas from aerial photo's; basically, large scale surveying); it looks like this area is drying up here in BC.

Rhonedog: I am talking about the Burnaby location (unless it's at their Vancouver location). I kind of figured it was grunt work; but, I thought it would be neat to try (if I had a second income!). A friend of mine felt that it was very low pay for the long hours they require of you; and I agree with him.

WhiteRabbitObj
04-13-2004, 03:34 AM
Originally posted by ???
I realy dont understand why soo low.. damn ! A caretaker can earn more money then you. I think the lowest rate per hour in canada is 9$ :hmm:

As far as I've always understood, the QA guys are the lowest of the low at a game company. Seriously, doesn't a QA Tester generally just play the game all day and report bugs and play issues? I think that that pay is pretty darned low but still, you'd be getting paid to basically play games all day. Sort of like a GM job in online games.

I can only agree with all the other posters that it sounds like you made the right choice. It sounds very much like you'd be moving down in the world not only in salary, but in job status, and that's never a good thing. I imagine even if you'd have taken it for fun and could afford the wages cut, it'd look bad on your resume for a future employer (after the QA job) to see that you went DOWN in status... would reflect that you were a poor employee in the past and couldn't get a good job anymore.

Should go for the gold now and see if you can get a non-low-level job at EA.

BiTMAP
04-13-2004, 03:35 AM
In canada our min wage is 5:75 an hour. I do setup ect... for 7.21 and 7.75 an hour, and that is considerd Big pay.

but i'm 17 and still live at home, and i still don't make enough damned money.

Annuostivix
04-13-2004, 04:55 AM
minimum wage changes in each province. BiTMAP, are you in Alberta? Your minimum wage sounds like Alberta. It's around seven fifty here in BC, maybe more and maybe less, after we work our first one hundred or maybe three hundred hours. The first hours are five dollars per hour. I don't know about the other provinces, because eastern canada is sort of boring. just kidding easterners.

Annuostivix
04-13-2004, 04:57 AM
Originally posted by BiTMAP
but i'm 17 and still live at home, and i still don't make enough damned money.

Something tells me you buy a lot of stuff or don't work many hours. minimum wage is pretty nice for people our age. Unless you want to buy maya or something :D

Ryan-B
04-13-2004, 05:43 AM
I took a 50 percent paycut for my first job at a game company. It's not uncommon.

I think the media has deceived people about average starting salaries.

cyclinggimpe
04-13-2004, 07:15 AM
Originally posted by Ryan B
I took a 50 percent paycut for my first job at a game company. It's not uncommon.

How can you take a 50 percent paycut and still pay your bills? With a mortgage and property/water taxes, hydro, cable and phone (plus home and car insurance, groceries, car gas and maintenance and clothes) there's no way a paycut would be enough to cover all expenses. You must either be living at your parents or with roommates, or have a spouse with a second income, renting cheap or you used to have a high paying job so a paycut was still manageable.

It's easier to start off with a low salary when you're younger and just starting in the work force. You don't have many responsibilities when you're young. If I talk about my first job, I only made $7.75 and hour. But, I didn't own a vehicle or home and I rented fairly cheap (and it was about 20 years ago). It didn't take long to get financially in trouble though at that wage with the cost of living always going up! Those wages are okay for someone still in highschool not someone needing to support themselves and their family.

The more I think about it, the more I am okay with my decision on turning the interview down. I'll just keep doing my 3d and try to get better and maybe one day I'll be good enough for something else.

BiTMAP
04-13-2004, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by Annuostivix
minimum wage changes in each province. BiTMAP, are you in Alberta? Your minimum wage sounds like Alberta. It's around seven fifty here in BC, maybe more and maybe less, after we work our first one hundred or maybe three hundred hours. The first hours are five dollars per hour. I don't know about the other provinces, because eastern canada is sort of boring. just kidding easterners.


yeah alberta, and i just don't get very many hours, it sux, like 23-37 hours a MONTH... pretty pathetic :( leaves me in a vicious circle, need more hours to pay for insurance to drive, which would make it possible for me to take the hours from others, but i can't afford insurance to get the hours i need.

Thumbs
04-13-2004, 04:34 PM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't know about the other provinces, because eastern canada is sort of boring. just kidding easterners.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Man, that just hurts, have you ever been there? Eastern Canada rocks. Much better cost of living, but theres no jobs in cg untill you hit Montreal.....:(
Don`t beat on the Maritimers, we like to beat back :)

Steve

Pinoy McGee
04-13-2004, 05:00 PM
As far as I've always understood, the QA guys are the lowest of the low at a game company.

I disagree. These guys not only test game builds they also help develop tools. Who else would do the task of checking the overall status of a game on a daily basis when the coders, designers, artists are busy making content?

You know those demos that are shown to the public online or at trade shows? A lot of those were done on a tight deadline, with half baked technology. You'll need QA to filter the bugs and give immediate feedback, unless you want to risk embarassing yourself to your publisher and to potential players.

As for the 10$ an hour rate. Hey...it's not enough for some and an opportunity to get a foot in the door for others. From what I've heard, EA doles out generous stock options. Besides the base salary there are other compensations to check out when negotiating with game companies. Stuff like performance bonuses, profit sharing, etc. Ask about "crunch time" benefits. Do they serve food or overtime pay, for example.

Anyway....getting a QA job at an industry player is a heckuva lot better than flipping burgers or moving Walmart or Superstore stock.

Spritemare
04-13-2004, 05:18 PM
screw them...they are just trying to take advantage by paying you nothing simply because it's a "cool job". I hate places like that.

Ryan-B
04-13-2004, 05:51 PM
Originally posted by cyclinggimpe
How can you take a 50 percent paycut and still pay your bills? With a mortgage and property/water taxes, hydro, cable and phone (plus home and car insurance, groceries, car gas and maintenance and clothes) there's no way a paycut would be enough to cover all expenses. You must either be living at your parents or with roommates, or have a spouse with a second income, renting cheap or you used to have a high paying job so a paycut was still manageable.

It's easier to start off with a low salary when you're younger and just starting in the work force. You don't have many responsibilities when you're young. If I talk about my first job, I only made $7.75 and hour. But, I didn't own a vehicle or home and I rented fairly cheap (and it was about 20 years ago). It didn't take long to get financially in trouble though at that wage with the cost of living always going up! Those wages are okay for someone still in highschool not someone needing to support themselves and their family.

The more I think about it, the more I am okay with my decision on turning the interview down. I'll just keep doing my 3d and try to get better and maybe one day I'll be good enough for something else.

I lived by myself and rented cheap.

Also, before I got my first job, I took a year off from work and went to a school to improve my skills. So, to get my first job in CG paying about 1/2 of what I was making before, I had to:

1) Quit my job in electronics and lose a year of salary while going to school
2) Pay for a year at a CG school which cost $20,000, not including the three years of interest payments on student loans
3) Pay all of my living expenses (rent, transportation, food, utilities, etc.) out of my savings

The job I got for all that grief paid about half of what my electronics job paid! Pretty sweet, huh? I also had to move to another city for my first job, which meant loading up my car with whatever I could fit in it and driving there myself. No moving expenses paid! I also lived in the worst part of town. And the cherry on the cake was that the job sucked! Ain't life grand?

But so what? Almost everybody has to work a lousy job for a few years to prove to themselves that they have potential.

The media has decieved people by making them believe that entry-level jobs at game companies pay incredibly high salaries. One local paper described us as "coddled like rockstars". This attitude has a negative impact by creating false expectations in potential new employees.

cyclinggimpe
04-13-2004, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by Pinoy McGee


As for the 10$ an hour rate. Hey...it's not enough for some and an opportunity to get a foot in the door for others. From what I've heard, EA doles out generous stock options. Besides the base salary there are other compensations to check out when negotiating with game companies. Stuff like performance bonuses, profit sharing, etc. Ask about "crunch time" benefits. Do they serve food or overtime pay, for example.

You only get those stock options etc. if you are employed fulltime with them (at least that's what their website says). I was told the QA tester position was a contract job. This means no company benefits except overtime. $10 isn't enough for contract work. Most people that I know who do contract work (in any field) do it from their home and for a lot more than $10 an hour. This is a good wage for someone just out of highschool (or still in highschool) but you have to be 18 or over to work at EA. I think they should lower the age (but I guess it has to do with Mature content in games) to attract more beginners. It would be a great way to get you feet wet in the 3d/gaming industry. I sure wish PC's and games etc that we know today were around when I was finishing highschool. You young guys just don't know how lucky you are!!!

cyclinggimpe
04-13-2004, 09:06 PM
Originally posted by Ryan B

The media has decieved people by making them believe that entry-level jobs at game companies pay incredibly high salaries. One local paper described us as "coddled like rockstars". This attitude has a negative impact by creating false expectations in potential new employees.

I don't get that impression from the media. All entry level jobs in any field is low (not that low though, except for some agriculture jobs which is what I started my career in years ago).

It's good that you were able to save up loads from when you worked at your electronics job. That worked for you; but, not everyone comes from a high paying job to be able to take a pay cut. My sister did what you did recently and lived on her RRSP's while going back to school. She used to be a programmer (as well as her ex-husband) and was able to save loads while working. If I had loads of savings I may have thought to try this out. But a lot of people have been saying that this doesn't necessarily get you any further in the door. One thing I know is that I'm not pursuing 3d as a money making venture at this time; I applied at the last minute on a whim. I enjoy learning it and find it fun. I'll keep working at it and who knows, maybe sometime in the future I'll get a demo reel done.

GavinG
04-14-2004, 08:54 AM
Hey there,

I'm originally an Eastern boy from Nova Scotia, our minimum wage was horrible $6, I think.

I've actually applied for the same job mentioned earlier and would be tickled pink if it was only $10. Of course, I have no experience and am working a minimum wage job right now. So, all in all after transportation from Vancouver to Burnaby is paid i'll still be making about minimum wage (if i get the job) the main difference is that I'd be working in the field I want to..not something totally unrelated.

Of course, I'm in a totally different situation than you...I have a meaningless job as a salesman, am 19 and really have no commitments that I cannot overcome easily.

I agree that for you a step down would be really stupid both financially and career wise but for me it would be a dream come true.

Gav

slaughters
04-14-2004, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by WhiteRabbit.obj
...but still, you'd be getting paid to basically play games all day...I can see you are not a programmer. Testing/Debugging is one of the most boring, meticulus jobs around. If it was so fun the developers would do it themselves :)

QA needs to test all options of every secenerio for each piece of code they are looking at. Going through the same actions again and again and again, with just slight variations.

They frequently do this with no documentation nor manuals to tell them how it is *supposed* to work. (documentation is allways the last thing done)

To get a taste of this try to get on as a Beta tester for a companies product and see what a pain it really is.

cyclinggimpe
04-14-2004, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by slaughters
I can see you are not a programmer. Testing/Debugging is one of the most boring, meticulus jobs around. If it was so fun the developers would do it themselves :)

QA needs to test all options of every secenerio for each piece of code they are looking at. Going through the same actions again and again and again, with just slight variations.

They frequently do this with no documentation nor manuals to tell them how it is *supposed* to work. (documentation is allways the last thing done)

To get a taste of this try to get on as a Beta tester for a companies product and see what a pain it really is.

I had heard that this is what you would do as a tester. Is it true that you only test a small area of the game to try to find all the bugs there and someone else gets another part of the game ...? I would think that QA testers wouldn't be considered scum (or whatever) because who else would do a boring job? If they released a buggy game, I don't think customers would be so forgiving; I know I am not anymore. I think Unreal 2 is a good example: it was buggy when it was released (I read this in the game forums) and so I didn't purchase it and I loved the first one! I hate purchasing a game and then having to wait for a patch to fix the problem! Maybe if they payed testers more, they would keep the good ones and then have less bugs? I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for (employee wise).

Gavin_G: Good luck with this position. You are in a perfect position (in life) to work there. It's easy to change careers when you are coming from a low paying job. I did the same thing when I was younger; you are used to that. I worked in a greenhouse (low pay) and took a training position at a mapping company for even less pay until I got more experience. Even though it was less pay, it was easy to change over (even with the long commute) because I was used to living poor and I knew the future salary would be a lot more than minimum wage.
If you get the job and you do well at it, they say that you could be kept on with future games. And if so, you could think of moving into Burnaby and find a roommate to save money. EA is close to BCIT so there are bound to be students looking for roommates (check the student centre of BCIT or there may even be someone working at EA looking for a roommate). When I went to school I lived with 4-5 other students in a townhouse; it saves a lot of money. Good luck.

typeA
04-14-2004, 04:21 PM
QA is not a foot in the door into the art dept.when i was out of school I looked into it, but its b.s..like dad would say go get a real job lol:beer:

Pinoy McGee
04-14-2004, 05:04 PM
but its b.s..

From a real game developer, Kenn Hoekstra - Ravensoft:

Get Your Foot In The Door:
A lot of game companies I know have positions for beta testers, quality assurance people, office managers and interns. You can also find an "in" by getting a job doing technical support or network administration. Getting your foot in the door at a game company is a good way to meet developers, establish a track record, make contacts and prove yourself to the powers that be. Internships are a great way to get free (but usually unpaid)
training that you can put to use getting a job at a later date. A lot of QA testers move up in the ranks to lead positions and even as high as the producer level. It's a great way to get started. It's a rough road, but there are always opportunities to be had if you can get yourself in the right place at the right time.

http://www2.ravensoft.com/getajob.htm

---------
Now...can you back up your opinion....or was it just b.s

cyclinggimpe
04-14-2004, 05:29 PM
That's a good read, Pinoy McGee. But, does it still hold true today? It was originally posted in 2000, if I read that correctly. It's 2004 now and hasn't the industry changed a lot since then? I read in one of the gaming magazines way back then about how a guy who did great Halflife mods (I think it was halflife) impressed some game company so much that they hired him. Would and does that still happen?

A lot more kids have the opportunity to create mods/levels with all the editors given out with games now and also all the learning 3d programs out there. Pretty soon, if not already, the 3d/gaming industry is going to be flooded with potential animators/modellers that it will be even harder to get your foot in the door. This has happened with the computer field in general if I am not mistaken (depending on your location).

Don't get me wrong; I would have gone for the interview if my situation was different. Also, I think I got the call for an interview because the guy that called me used to work in the same industry as I am working in now (small world). So, knowing someone definitely helps.

typeA
04-14-2004, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by Pinoy McGee
Now...can you back up your opinion....or was it just b.s

well, an opinion is just that, an opinion.it doesnt need to be backed up, the time i went to check out QA, they wernt even in the same building as art, so its not like your rubing elbows with art directors or even low level artist, and they wernt to excited when they found out I did 3d stuff at all, they realy just wanted people who want to be QA.Im not saying no ones ever moved up, of corse it has happened, but at that time I realy didnt like the idea of busting my ass in school learning all this 3d stuff, so i could get a job playing video games.It worked out for me as I ended up geting an art position somewhere else,but you gata get money doing something, and im sure its more fun being QA then working at wallmart.Did I back up my opinion, probably not, was it BS? most likely:hmm:

Pinoy McGee
04-14-2004, 07:58 PM
But, does it still hold true today?

You better believe it! :)

Cycling I'm not debating your decision. I wish you all the best, I just want to share that there are other ways of getting the glamour jobs in the games industry.

I'm not in QA but I know how hard and dedicated these guys are just like the rest. Just wanna speak up for them when I feel their importance and career prospect are being misrepresented.

JasonOsipa
04-14-2004, 08:07 PM
Originally posted by Spritemare
screw them...they are just trying to take advantage by paying you nothing simply because it's a "cool job". I hate places like that.

Um. It's QA. That's a tester. No disresepect to the good folks doing the work but, you pretty much need working thumbs and the ability to point at things and say "that looks broken". It is a low wage, but it's a low qualification job. For the pay, for the complexity, it IS a cool job.

QA's not the way to move up in EA; it's possible, but it can be tough and it's this weird "the better you are, the less we want you to leave our dept" problem.

I personally would have done the interview and not taken the position, just to get your face seen in studio, maybe meet some folks and then tell them that it's jut not financially viable, people understand that. The industry moves in waves, and they could have something more in production soon; can't hurt to have an interview under your belt already. :)

This industry really is about connections over qualifications, so understand that and control it whenever you can.

cyclinggimpe
04-14-2004, 08:12 PM
Pinoy McGee: Oh, I didn't think you were questioning my decision. It's good to hear that someone respects the guys at the bottom. But, do the company heads respect them? I keep hearing people say how the QA guys aren't considered very highly. I'm not in the industry, so I don't know.

I guess it depends on what you consider as respect. I think a lot of people starting out want to make a high salary right away. But, that's not the case in any field. So, young people should probably not shun away from these QA jobs. Especially if you don't have a lot of commitments yet. Once you have commitments, it is harder to start your career over again. I am looking into my 3rd career now; the second career wasn't so hard to change to but the 3rd is a bummer.

Gee, I didn't think this thread would last so long. :surprised

GavinG
04-14-2004, 10:38 PM
cyclingimpe: thanks for the luck man, my fingers are crossed.

I think alot of people have really high hopes or are given this false impression of instant stardom in the CG industry. when I was in college they basically said that we'd all get jobs if we put out a reel and that if we were really talented we'd be picked up by big name companies...all because one guy from a sister school was hired by Blizzard straight out of college as an animator. I approach it with a more pessimistic, yet more realistic, approach: I know that I won't be picked up right away due to talent, as far as I'm concerned it's a one in a million chance to be picked up straight from college with a thrown together reel (which most students end up with) and put into a high paying job at a big name studio...I see it as paying my dues, at least having a CG related name on my resume, it couldn't hurt.

Even if it is a shit job, it's for a game company...and it can only help. I'd hope to meet a few people through that, get a feel for production and make a few bucks. Again, this is from my prespective, which a few others have agreed upon...moving down to this status is hardly worth it, especially if you can do better. For me it's just the next step up until I progress to the level I want to be.

Anyways, now I'm rambling...my point is that sometimes you have to take hard roads to your destination...wether that be polishing the art teams cars, being a QA or serving the team coffee's at a cafe. It's not always as simple as "make a reel and get a job", sometimes you need to take on opportunities like this for experience, putting your artistic ego aside and thinking like a busines man...or something to that effect.


Gav

cyclinggimpe
04-14-2004, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by JasonOsipa

I personally would have done the interview and not taken the position, just to get your face seen in studio, maybe meet some folks and then tell them that it's jut not financially viable, people understand that. The industry moves in waves, and they could have something more in production soon; can't hurt to have an interview under your belt already. :)

This industry really is about connections over qualifications, so understand that and control it whenever you can.

After I hung up, I thought I should have gone for the interview; especially when I never thought I would have gotten a call so fast. But, what is done is done. Can't go back in time.

beaker
04-15-2004, 01:17 AM
But, does it still hold true today?
Yup!

My roomates both work for a major game company who has done many top pc games(game of the year stuff for multiple titles). 90% of their game designers started out as game testers making $10-15 and hour.

slaughters
04-15-2004, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by beaker
...90% of their game designers started out as game testers making $10-15 and hour. ...And can now look forward to a whoping $10.50-$15.50 an hour !!! :)

cyclinggimpe
04-15-2004, 05:44 PM
After reading through these posts and doing some more thinking, I really wish I had gone to the interview. :banghead: There doesn't seem to be a way to re-apply for this position. :cry: I guess I'll have to wait until they look again on their next game.

GavinG
04-15-2004, 05:56 PM
I've got an interview on Wed. apparently it's a group interview? He said I'd end up meeting some othe rcandidates as well....Kinda makes me wonder how many people they are hiring and how good of a chance I have....

Gav

cyclinggimpe
04-15-2004, 06:07 PM
Originally posted by Gavin_G
I've got an interview on Wed. apparently it's a group interview? He said I'd end up meeting some othe rcandidates as well....Kinda makes me wonder how many people they are hiring and how good of a chance I have....

Gav

Good luck Gavin_G. Let me know how it goes and what is entailed in this interview.

GavinG
04-15-2004, 06:32 PM
Thanks, I'll defiently let you know what's going on. Now I just need to find my way there from the Skytrain.

Gavin

RmachucaA
04-15-2004, 06:37 PM
if you have the drive, and are talented, no matter which way you get in.... you'll be noticed. have faith in yourself, and dont be afraid to let others know your intentions, goals and the drive you have to reach them.

status quo
04-15-2004, 09:09 PM
Originally posted by Pinoy McGee
I disagree. These guys not only test game builds they also help develop tools. Who else would do the task of checking the overall status of a game on a daily basis when the coders, designers, artists are busy making content?

You know those demos that are shown to the public online or at trade shows? A lot of those were done on a tight deadline, with half baked technology. You'll need QA to filter the bugs and give immediate feedback, unless you want to risk embarassing yourself to your publisher and to potential players.

As for the 10$ an hour rate. Hey...it's not enough for some and an opportunity to get a foot in the door for others. From what I've heard, EA doles out generous stock options. Besides the base salary there are other compensations to check out when negotiating with game companies. Stuff like performance bonuses, profit sharing, etc. Ask about "crunch time" benefits. Do they serve food or overtime pay, for example.

Anyway....getting a QA job at an industry player is a heckuva lot better than flipping burgers or moving Walmart or Superstore stock.

i've heard this time and time again. usually from people who have done nothing with their lives.

"its a good company"
"get your foot in the door"

nope. all its for is temp. i'll bet that $10 that they would have u scrubbing toilets.

RmachucaA
04-15-2004, 11:27 PM
status quo... that may be true for some, but not all. so dont generalize, and QA is a very important position in itself, but it also depends on the company.... anyhow, dont generalize like that, QA is a very respectable career, unless you have done it yourself seriously (not as a summer job), then dont diss it.

Jackdeth
04-15-2004, 11:38 PM
NEVER pass up a good thing, or you will be stuck waiting at the sidelines for some magically amazing job that doesn't exist.

To make it to the top, you have to start out at the bottom. That means eating crap and making no money.

typeA
04-16-2004, 12:02 AM
Originally posted by Jackdeth
NEVER pass up a good thing, or you will be stuck waiting at the sidelines for some magically amazing job that doesn't exist.

To make it to the top, you have to start out at the bottom. That means eating crap and making no money.

this is 100% true..but I realy dont belive that takeing a pay cut of 50% to take a QA job is a smrt idea, now takeing that pay cut to work in some from of creative role thats a different matter, I just wory about people so hungery to get in that they waste a year of there life doing something there overqualified for with nothing to show for it but sore thumbs and a list of bugs logged a mile long..if this gentelmen was unimployed Id say go for it, you gota start at the bottom of the lader but I think you wana make sure that lader gos somewhere first..unless you playing candyland then you might go up a lader only to roll a 4 and hit a slide back to candycane forest, but thats a different can of worms :shrug:
ok no more coffe for me, and this post is a good reson to keep your employies computers offline:cool:

cyclinggimpe
04-26-2004, 06:43 PM
Hey Gavin_G, how did the interview go? I'm curious as to what they asked of you. Was it really a group interview or did you just meet the others?

marque-pierre
04-26-2004, 07:00 PM
I understand why you turned it down. Being a family man myself, not exactly too young in years and trying to break into a second more interesting career.

But...

What is better? To be half way up a ladder you don't want to climb, or to be at the bottom of a ladder, you actually want to ascend?

It is not easy.:shrug:

GavinG
04-26-2004, 07:11 PM
Hey,

The interview was strange, I didn't get the job...but i can say what happened. About 14 of us met in a group and were taken to a room, we watched a video full of bugs and had to write them down (needing 3 for each title to pass this stage), then after that the group was halved and sent to seperate rooms..from there we worked on a team project (building a catapult) then were asked questions by 2 people...mostly, whats your favorite sport? whats the specs of your machine? and some odd ones like why are manhole covers round? After that we were taken seperatley to a private interview...I was asked a bunch of questions about my animation, my interviewer mentioned how plenty of 3d guys come in as QA's but waste time schmoozing...so i'm not sure if i was frowned upon or not....

Bah, time to look for other avenues.

Gav

cyclinggimpe
04-26-2004, 07:13 PM
It really isn't easy marque_pierre. When you just purchased your first home and now you have a mortgage and other expenses that go along with it and one income, there isn't really anything else to do but turn the interview down. I probably should have gone just to see what they ask etc. But, there is no way I would be able to pay my mortgage and utilities (not to mention VISA and RRSP's) and I'm not prepared to sell my place as I don't think I would be able to purchase again in the future because you need more of a down payment with your second purchase.

cyclinggimpe
04-26-2004, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by Gavin_G
Hey,

The interview was strange, I didn't get the job...but i can say what happened. About 14 of us met in a group and were taken to a room, we watched a video full of bugs and had to write them down (needing 3 for each title to pass this stage), then after that the group was halved and sent to seperate rooms..from there we worked on a team project (building a catapult) then were asked questions by 2 people...mostly, whats your favorite sport? whats the specs of your machine? and some odd ones like why are manhole covers round? After that we were taken seperatley to a private interview...I was asked a bunch of questions about my animation, my interviewer mentioned how plenty of 3d guys come in as QA's but waste time schmoozing...so i'm not sure if i was frowned upon or not....

Bah, time to look for other avenues.

Gav

Thanks for the info. Since they asked for you computer specs, I wonder if you're able to work from home at times? If so, then it would be easier to work overtime. I wonder why they need to know the answer to the manhole question? Does it have to do with 3D? As far as the smoozing point the guy made, that's weird. You would think that they realize that whoever applies for the QA position will have an interest in 3D and not just to play games.

If you don't find another way into the industry and this job comes up again, I would re-apply if I was you. Or even after a month or two try applying again (maybe a new game will be worked on). I got my present job by phoning/contacting them 2-3 times after my interview and I eventually got the job when the person they initially hired didn't work out (it was a training position leading to full time). I guess I stood out more than other applicants. Unless it is different in the 3D industry.

marque-pierre
04-26-2004, 07:45 PM
cyclinggimpe, here is what I did. Now, I am from Denmark, which is part of the European union so things are different for me. Different good, different bad.

We had a lovely apartment in an up'n'coming neighbourhood of Copenhagen. Copenhagen is the second most expensive city in Europe after London. So finding a nice and reasonably inexpensive place to stay is no mean feat. But my career was not going anywhere, because I was burned out and my heart was not in it.

So we sold the apartment, after first subletting it with disastrous results for a year. Moved to England with wife a 2 year old daughter and a 10 day old baby in tow. Damn it was hard.

The reason to do so was for me to enroll at University of Teesside in their BA (Hons) Computer Games Design degree. Something I would never be able to study at home in Denmark. I am almost done with my 2nd out of 3 years now, and now things are working out; We know the ropes and can navigate the system, but in the beginning it was harder.

I just want to get to that place Confucius talked about: "Find a job, that you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life."

It can be done, but it is not easy, and you have to weigh what you are willing to give up for it. Your house? Well, there will always be other houses, and particularly if you are doing something you are good at, and thus find it easy to excel.

The thing about studying in England, is that the tuition fees are a fraction of what you'd have to pay at home (meaning US or Canada). Which is why we also see a fair ammount of Canadians coming here. We pay around 1100 GBP a year. Check out the links to my university under education on my site, or go to www.ucas.com for more information on programmes that might interest you.

I am not saying you will find this to be a surefire way to break into the industry, but I do think it will be fair to say your leverage will be a lot bigger than that QA job, which will send you quicker back to a nice house/mortgage...

Good luck!

gr8spangle
04-26-2004, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by marque_pierre
The thing about studying in England, is that the tuition fees are a fraction of what you'd have to pay at home (meaning US or Canada). Which is why we also see a fair ammount of Canadians coming here. We pay around 1100 GBP a year. Check out the links to my university under education on my site, or go to www.ucas.com for more information on programmes that might interest you.

Hey Marque-Pierre,

You're not saying these people immigrate and become UK citizens are you? Is that true for anyone who wants to come study in England? Does it apply to art schools as well?

marque-pierre
04-26-2004, 09:01 PM
No, they don't become UK citizens or nothing. That is not necessary at all. They just come, get a study visa or something, I assume, and that's it, really.

gr8spangle
04-26-2004, 09:10 PM
Are you kidding ??? Only 1100 GBP a year??? :eek: It costs us about $30,000 USD for a decent art school here. I'm definitely looking into UK now if that's the case!

How is it so cheap? I'm surprised the government doesn't try to shaft it to the foreigners, that's the way they do it in Canada, tuition for Americans is about twice as much as for the native Canadians...

Autarkis
04-26-2004, 09:12 PM
On the comment of game testers moving up in EA's hierarchy, my best friends used to work as a QA tester for EA games ( San Carlos location) back in the .com days.

Recently, I was playing the new Bond game, and at the end of the credits, the QA testers were scrolling, and he noticed at least 4 guys that used to work with him over there 5 years ago. They still haven't moved up. Still lowly game testers.

I think it says everything about EA's game testers (of course, they may have been people with no ambition, but come on, five years of game testing or more and you're still a low QA?)

gr8spangle
04-26-2004, 09:26 PM
Ah I see now, I see they talk about something called the "Home Rate Fee".

To qualify you must meet:

The following students are charged tuition fees at the home rate:

Nationals of the European Community having a relevant connection with the European Economic Area (EEA) (a relevant connection means that the person is normally resident in the EC and has lived there for at least three years before starting their course), and their children

EEA migrant workers in the UK, and their children

Reciprocal exchange students

Refugees and those with exceptional leave to remain

Recently 'settled' persons

Those absent due to temporary absence abroad


That "3 years" thing is the catch. Too bad we're not part of the EC...

marque-pierre
04-26-2004, 09:27 PM
I am sure they charge more from non-European citizens. But let me tell you, it is still a fraction of what you'd pay back home. You have to remember we live in wellfare societies over here. Free education, free hospitals and so on...

When I see the prices of education in the States and so on (which are undoubtedly good schools and all), I wonder how come we don't have a massive surge of people flooding the educational system over here...

RmachucaA
04-26-2004, 09:55 PM
what you save on schooling in the UK, you pay in living :-P

marque-pierre
04-26-2004, 10:13 PM
Originally posted by RmachucaA
what you save on schooling in the UK, you pay in living :-P

Excuse me? Who are you to say?

I take it that your stand point must be the typical ignorant point of view of UK = London. In that case you are right. But why would you go to London? Not if you want to learn CGI or games you wouldn't... University of Teesside is in the Northeast, where rent is dirt cheap. I pay 300 a month for a house with 4 bedrooms. I could hardly keep my Copenhagen apartment with ONE bedroom and a livingroom for that. Apart from that most things will be priced like you are used to, except for gasoline. But you'll be going to a university 5 minutes walk, if not less, from where you live, so who needs a car?

I am certainly not saying that University of Teesside is the only interesting university. Bournemouth has quite a reputation and a strong group of high flying ex-graduates. But my point is that none of the important animation universities are in London. So living expenses? Pffft...

Look I am not trying to sell you on something that is bad or disadvantageous for you. I just thought I saw a guy in roughly the same situation as myself, and wanted to help out.

I think I have provided enough information as it is, if you want to look into it, you should be able to, if not... Whatever.

cyclinggimpe
04-27-2004, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by marque_pierre


I just want to get to that place Confucius talked about: "Find a job, that you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life."

The thing about studying in England, is that the tuition fees are a fraction of what you'd have to pay at home (meaning US or Canada). Which is why we also see a fair ammount of Canadians coming here. We pay around 1100 GBP a year. Check out the links to my university under education on my site, or go to www.ucas.com for more information on programmes that might interest you.

Good luck!

I would love to work somewhere that didn't feel like work and I enjoyed. Don't get me wrong; I like what I do now but the industry is going through a major slowdown now and it got me thinking about a career change. I know I have a lot to think about as far as careers go and it gets a bit scarey when you're getting up there in age. I am hoping to take a Maya parttime course in the fall (if I can get in, and it's on Saturday mornings) here in Vancouver and I should see if I am capable/talented at all or if I am only good at this as a hobby (I am learning 3D on my own and as a hobby for now). I know that when I tried to get into the Ontario Art School for their Graphic Arts program after highschool, I was told I was geared for Fine Arts (does this mean that I'm not geared for 3D?). Back then Fine Arts didn't lead to any kind of career for most people (not all) so I did something else.

1100 GBP is really cheap for a year! Any school that has to do with 3D/animation in the Vancouver area charge a lot more than that. But, I think they (or most) are privately run; so that's probably why they are so expensive. I don't know if I would be able to make myself move to the UK. I don't mind moving to another province in Canada (I moved from Ontario to BC) but, I don't know about moving to another country, even if it were just for school. I might have thought about it if I was younger; but, probably not.

marque-pierre
04-27-2004, 01:37 PM
I don't know how old you are. I just turned 30 myself. That is not a lot in some people's eyes, but when you see the age of the people who are entering the industry, it can be an issue.

Anyway, moving to another continent. Well, let's not fool ourselves, it is not easy. But it can be done. And the funny thing about us humans and our selfpreservation instincts and adaptive abilities is that, we somehow always manage to land on our feet.

Good luck.

cyclinggimpe
04-27-2004, 05:40 PM
Oh, I'm way older than you (just turned 44 last month!). I remember turning 30 and thinking it was old; the same went for when I turned 20! My age is the reason I am starting 3D as a hobby and will see where it takes me. I will probably start with parttime studies though to see where I stand. Thanks for the info.

marque-pierre
04-27-2004, 07:21 PM
I see. I understand. Let me just say, that I have a lot of sympathy for your situation, and I hope I have not come across in a condescending way. Good luck.

AJE
04-27-2004, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by cyclinggimpe
Thanks for the replies, guys. I was starting to think that I made a wrong choice. I only applied there because there is a major slowdown at my work now and I thought I should look into a career change. There aren't any mapping companies hiring right now (I map areas from aerial photo's; basically, large scale surveying); it looks like this area is drying up here in BC.

Rhonedog: I am talking about the Burnaby location (unless it's at their Vancouver location). I kind of figured it was grunt work; but, I thought it would be neat to try (if I had a second income!). A friend of mine felt that it was very low pay for the long hours they require of you; and I agree with him.

If you work with Mapping, PM me, I might have something for you! (I'm in BC)
Cheers,
AJE

jishjosh
04-28-2004, 02:49 AM
Originally posted by cyclinggimpe
On a whim, I applied for a QA tester at EA Canada. They reviewed my resume and sent me a username and password in order to take an online test; which I did. (I was sure I failed it). I got a call today to see if I was interested in going in for an interview (to my surprise, I passed the test). After finding out the wage and hours, I turned the interview down. $10.00 Canadian is too low for me at this stage in life. I'm not young and have financial obligations already and it is only a contract position (no benefits etc.). There is no way I would be able to survive going from $18/hour to $10/hour CDN! If only I was younger without a mortgage etc. I really would have liked to try this out. Too bad there aren't any part-time or work-from-home QA tester jobs; or are there?

Bad move. Should of at least interviewed to meet. An in person interview can change a lot of things. You could be remembered for a more suitable position sometime. Down the road instead of saying "Remember the guy we met with, but things didn't work out....", it will be more like "Remember the d--k who turned us, EA, down. F that guy." Instead of a smiling face, you're now a name in a database.

marc001
04-28-2004, 03:21 AM
I tested games at EA Redwood Shores.
The games I worked on are Knockout Kings 2002 PS2, Tiger Woods 2002 PC, and Simpsons Road Rage PS2. If you want a bunch of shipped titles on your resume, this will do the trick.

In retrospect I should have spent more time with the game developers. I took my job too seriously and spent most of my time with other testers. Got paid $9.00 an hour.
The job is temporary, after 6 month I was out of work again.

cyclinggimpe
04-28-2004, 07:14 AM
Originally posted by AJE
If you work with Mapping, PM me, I might have something for you! (I'm in BC)
Cheers,
AJE

Hi AJE. I just tried to PM you, but your mailbox is full. I'll try to send it again tomorrow. I'd be interested.

cyclinggimpe
04-28-2004, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by marque_pierre
I see. I understand. Let me just say, that I have a lot of sympathy for your situation, and I hope I have not come across in a condescending way. Good luck.

Don't worry. I didn't think that you came across in a condescending way. I took it as just plain old conversation. It's good to hear peoples opinions.

GavinG
04-28-2004, 07:30 AM
marque_pierre: Hey, i've been looking into schooling in England, it is a bit cheaper than higher named schools here, the difference I see is about 6k. I was wondering what the structure of classes is like? What makes it different than most of NA schools...from what i see alot of them are degree courses, which interests me...please, enlighten me. If this goes off-topic please feel free to PM me :)

Gav

cyclinggimpe
04-28-2004, 02:46 PM
Gavin_G: I think we're already off topic; so, don't worry. Also, I would like to hear about it also.:thumbsup:

marque-pierre
04-28-2004, 03:45 PM
Short courses and phony associate degrees are plenty in this field. I decided I wanted a "real" education. As in a real recognised degree I can build on top of in the future.

Structure? I wonder what kind of structure you are looking for? You can usually find the structure of the curriculum on the web pages for the university.

I say, start with a search for keywords which interest you on www.ucas.com

I remember searching for "game", turned out 36 degree programmes back when I did this. Only 1 was for game as in livestock. From there you have links to the university websites. Go check out their stuff there, and request the prospectuses.

As for structure in the teaching, it differs as I understand it.

Here at University of Teesside, we have 5 modules each semester. This semester (my fourth) I have 3D Modelling for Games - Environment, Games Interface Design, Games Production, Animation for Games and Computer Animation Technology (which is a high end animation module).

In each module we have every week a one hour lecture, and then 2 hours of tutorials. So 3 hours x 5 modules = 15 hours of school. At the end of each semester we typically have a large project which needs to be completed, handed in and assessed.

That is how it works really. Ask if you want to know something specific.

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