Gazillion QA Testers © Tatjana Vejnovic
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The Koalition x Gazillion | Meet the QA Team

Brandon Fenol
Brandon Fenol – © Tatjana Vejnovic

Brandon Fenol, QA Tester

Marvel Heroes Forums: Fenolmenon

Brandon has been in the gaming industry for the last seventeen years, originally coming from retail. He was an assistant manager at Nordstrom’s, working in the women’s shoe section. He said his job was constantly being threatened by customers (over things he couldn’t control), and eventually called it quits. His girlfriend’s (at the time) godmother gave them a list of job postings, where Brandon saw a listing for a game tester. “I said get out of here! There’s no way you can get paid to play video games!” And thus, started his career – first with Sony until 2012, ending his contract as a lead, working on PlayStation Home on another contract, a small mobile studio, Bandai/Namco, where he met Megan, and Storm8.

Across the board, it all felt the same – like a grind house. He said he was “relieved” when he was let go. Megan had gotten a job at Gazillion and when another opening popped up, she called Brandon immediately. The change was drastic – “It doesn’t feel like work here – you can come in and get your eight hours done; there’s stress sometimes because of deadlines and such, but you don’t bring it home with you. A bad day here, I can still go home and still be happy.” Brandon expressed his relief in how easy it is to communicate with other teams when he runs into bugs and needs help, and how fast the turnaround in getting a solution is.

Brandon has a lot of experience in sandbox testing, so the things he likes to test out cater to that. He enjoys going to areas people don’t typically wander off to. “I’m not checking the borders – I’m checking open spaces. Is there a collision that shouldn’t be there? I try to do things that aren’t on the same part – I try to skip a step in a process. I do things out of order to see if the game catches the fact it’s being done out of order.”

His advice for getting into the industry is a little different from the others (and quite frankly, something I never would have thought of): “Don’t pass up the smaller companies. Look at them – you may apply to them and they may say you need more experience. Then apply to a bigger firm like EA or Sony and get a small contract for the experience. Finish your contract and go back to those smaller companies and show you got the experience and can get the work done. Don’t ignore smaller companies, because they are more likely to transfer you from contract to full time. Don’t get heartbroken when big companies don’t get you full time, either. You’ll have the experience and get in a much better place.”