Development Tester Marwa Syed

The unsung heroes of the gaming industry

Introducing our Development Tester Marwa Syed.

Shelly Nyqvist

Writer: Shelly Nyqvist
Title: Freelance writer

Marwa Syed took a leap of faith in 2018 and applied for a trainee position at Ubisoft RedLynx having never worked as a tester. Since then, she’s gone from zero to one hundred as a Development Tester. Marwa gives us a behind the scenes peek at building one of our new games from scratch.

From a trainee to a Development Tester. How would you describe your career at RedLynx?

Prior to applying to Ubisoft I was working as a Front-End Developer in a startup. I joined RedLynx as a Quality Control (QC) trainee on the South Park: Phone Destroyer team where I had zero knowledge of testing mobile games professionally. After six months I decided to move over to the console side on Trials Rising as a QC trainee with zero knowledge of testing console games. Six months after that I went back over to the South Park team as a Junior Development Tester. I was there for one year before my current role as Development Tester on an unannounced mobile project. At first I wasn’t sure if I would fit in as a tester. But guess what? I really enjoy what I do.

What’s it like to work on a brand new mobile game?

Hello, I get to see how a new game is built from concept to creation! On a serious note, it’s exciting to build a game from scratch.

The testing team is kind of like the buffer behind production and design. There are five of us–two in Helsinki and three in Pune, India. Every day is different but mostly I test, log issues, and track everything that can and does go wrong. You literally need to log everything and double-check the documentation. It’s important to adhere to strict testing timelines. Oftentimes I provide suggestions to the artists and designers on how to make the gameplay flow better.

“As a tester, I play the game daily and notice when something is wrong.”

What skills are relevant to do your work?

When I worked with offers and events in Live Operations, attention to detail was crucial. Testing is a lot like problem solving. I probably ask myself one hundred times a day how can I come up with a solution around this issue. Another skill I find beneficial is being able to write in a short and sweet way. You can’t write an essay. A programmer will not spend time reading your notes. They should be able to figure out what you are talking about in a few minutes. Through trial and error, sharing videos and screenshots are the best way to convey my message.

Development Tester Marwa Syed
What’s the best part of being a Development Tester?

Testers are underappreciated and only noticed when something goes wrong. No one ever says this is a bug-free game. But this is the first game I’ve worked on from the ground up. And I can’t wait to see it go live! I also like how important my role is to the end game. That means finding the littlest of issues and documenting them so that they don’t bother players later on. It’s like I’m saving the day.

“My ultimate goal is to build a fun game for the players.”

How would your teammates describe you?

Extremely social. Our work environment is rather chill. I’m still in touch with teammates from previous mobile and console projects even though we don’t work together anymore. It’s like working with friends at our studio.

Marwa’s tips for aspiring Development Testers:
  • Take breaks. You can easily stare at the screen for hours. As much as you want to keep going, make an effort to schedule in a 10-minute break every now and then. When you’re fatigued you are more likely to miss issues.
  • Never think an issue is too small to log. Even if it’s just a font it will come back to bite you later. LOG EVERYTHING.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. The only way to learn is to ask even if it’s something you deem dumb. Knowledge is everywhere in this company. A colleague will surely know something that you don’t.

Check out our open positions and apply!