As Xbox One is about to launch, let’s spare a thought for all the people who had a hand in its creation. One of the most exciting areas I recruit for at Microsoft is the U.K.-based Games Test Organisation (GTO). This group of experienced, superhero-like testers are passionate about quality software engineering and testing across a range of AAA titles. They are crucial partners to the game development team, as they provide expert black box testing, automated testing and other technical approaches, data analysis and actionable reports.
In layman’s terms, they are the crusaders who ensure our gaming experience is a seamless one, and I think they have one of the most awesome jobs! But don’t take my word for it. I recently sat down with the GTO team to explore what it is like to work as a tester during the lead up to the Xbox One launch. Here’s what they had to say:
What do you love most about your job?
The people. “There are very few jobs where you get to work with people who are truly passionate about the work they are doing. As a team you spend the day testing products and then go home and play/use those same products you had an input in developing. It doesn’t get much better than that.” — Martyn Sibley
“The ‘Wow!’ moments that come from working at the cutting edge of entertainment technology, whether it be the new Kinect on Xbox One, integration with the Cloud in Azure, or seeing 1080p graphics render for the first time. It has been really exciting working on the inside for this new-generation console launch.” — Gareth Rogers
“Working on something that’s going to be seen by millions of people worldwide is seriously cool. Everyone has heard about the Xbox One launch. We bet: Even your parents!” — Christopher Howell
What makes your job unique?
Having an Xbox One on your desk. “We know you are jealous right now.” — Fraser Murrell
Getting paid to play (read: test) video games. “This is, straight-up, the perfect job. And while a game is in the testing phase before a launch, you will enjoy at least one day of being better than almost everyone else in the world at playing it!” — Ryan Harris
Bug hunting. “When something goes wrong or something crashes, the process of figuring out why/how that happened is like being a detective. The secrecy surrounding the job is pretty cool. It’s like an ‘if I told you, I’d have to kill you’ situation.” — Tom French
The fans! “When the title is finally released, the best part is reading through message boards and forums to see what the fans think. It is a great feeling when fans enjoy something that you have put many hours into creating.” — Martyn Sibley
So now that we’ve convinced you that you want to work for Microsoft, here is what we are looking for in our testing teams:
- Talented software development engineers in test (SDETs) or recent computer science graduates with the desire to tell a fable through interactive entertainment and to produce quality code in a fast-as-Forza environment.
- Experienced software test engineers with a passion for the entertainment industry and the imagination to connect key test methodologies to game development.
- Expert testers who are ready to take a ninja blade to any challenge, whilst maintaining a professional attitude, strong leadership qualities and specialised skills.
Working on Xbox One is a great way to see Microsoft’s vision for consoles throughout the next generation and what cool features are planned. Note: These hot SDET jobs on the GTO team are in the U.K.
Want to find out more about GTO specifically or ask one of the testers a question about their career? Email them and ask away! firstname.lastname@example.org
On Microsoft JobsBlog:
University students: Are you ready for a high-speed environment? Our Xbox intern Nic tells you about his path to Microsoft, what it’s like to experience this “once-in-a-decade opportunity,” and gives you a reality check: In your arsenal of tech tools, coding can’t be your only asset.
Women in tech: Believe it or not, a career in gaming just might be your happy place. Meet Trang Ho, of our Lift London studio, and find out why women who don’t consider themselves gamers might love these jobs. And here are five women of Xbox who are changing the game.