I work at Dashlane as a QA engineer, where I work to ensure the stability of our product in the face of many possible bugs across all platforms. In a nutshell, a QA engineer’s job is to ensure we release the highest-quality version of the product each time.
To achieve that goal, we build testing procedures that cover all the features of the software, which requires a similar skillset to those of QA engineers in the gaming industry. Perhaps that’s why at Dashlane, three of our four-person QA team came to Dashlane directly from the video game industry. I’m one of them.
In today’s video game industry, there’s no open environment that compares to the web. Even in the biggest virtual worlds, everything you find in the game has been designed and implemented by someone in your company. Sure, there is obviously still room for bugs, but far less so than the infinite possibility of failures when you are working on a product that operates on the ever-growing web.
When I first started at Dashlane, I admit to wondering: “How the hell are we going to test the entire Internet?” Our software is full of small features that quietly wait for the user to reach a webpage that complies with specific conditions, and then it shows up right in time to help. Problems start when we look at how vast the web is and how varied its technologies are. Some of our features might work on 80% of websites, leaving 20% of multiple, specific failures that we have to manually identify, one by one. (In general, however, our semantic analysis accurately fills any one form 90-95% of the time which is industry-leading!)
Fortunately for us, our talented developer team has done a great job building Dashlane’s core technology in a scalable way. It’s able to handle most websites with a universal code; as a result, fixing one issue we identify and test on one specific webpage fixes thousands of similar issues on other sites.
Now, as previously mentioned, I come from the video game industry where I also worked in QA. Maybe some of you have heard of people being paid to test or “play” World Of Warcraft. For the record: testing WoW or any other game is not the same as playing it. As a QA engineer, so much time is spent checking every game-play mechanism, every game level, that when it finally is released to consumers, it’s as if I have never played it, in spite of we spending months working on it.
Testing Dashlane works much the same way. There are many scenarios to run, many features to check. But in the end, when a new version that I tested comes out, it feels like new. Making use of an app is very different than testing it!
This is, in my opinion a big part of the reason why QA people are moving from gaming to classic software, or the other way around. QA’ing is essentially the same, but the ability to change up what kind of product you’re working on is one of the perks. It’s also probably why you see so many people go from game to software, or the other way around. Of course, testing games can be a bit more amusing, especially when hilarious bugs come around.
Here’s one from my last job, as a QA engineer on a video game called Black Death. Needless to say this incredibly flexible yoga pose wasn’t on purpose: