In Their Own Words: Aaron Skinner

There are so many opportunities to work in gaming all over the world. Meet Aaron Skinner from Melbourne, Australia.

EA PLAY 2016

What is your job at EA?

I’m a Quality Analyst II, which is essentially a Quality Assurance Lead embedded within the development team.

My role is very diverse, ranging from using various technical solutions to prevent potential issues manifesting themselves, to employing all kinds of data to provide our Dev Teams with the latest info for risk assessment. For the most part we are responsible for coordinating test strategies for game features as they are implemented.

We act as the champions of our game’s quality and do our best to ensure players have a smooth gameplay experience.

What’s your favorite part of The Sims FreePlay?

From fairytale adventures to owning a puppy, I love the diversity of the content we implement every update. This keeps things fresh and exciting not only from a player perspective, but also from a development perspective, too.


Can you tell me more about the newest feature, Movie Star?

We’ve been most recently working on the ability to accompany your Sims on their workdays, and now, our next update is for those aspiring Actor and Director Sims! We’ve converted the Movie Studio into a full blown area where you can accompany your Sim to work. You’ll be able to work your way up from a Crew Member to an A-List performer or Director.

Be sure to keep your eyes on your Sims as they work, because they get into some pretty humorous situations!

What’s your favorite perk at EA?

Free EA Games! When Battlefield 1 releases, I’ll be scoring a copy. Also, free breakfast and lunch every morning doesn’t hurt.


What are some of the challenges you face in your role?

We pack our updates with a sizeable amount of features, including both player facing and more technical background components, so it’s quite a lot of work staying on top of each element’s implementation and gaining an understanding of how everything works.

Figuring out effective testing methodologies for each feature and keeping in mind how over 3 years of past game content could affect our new features (and vice versa) is a daily challenge!

What’s your favorite thing about the work environment?

Besides the fact that we have a swanky new studio with a killer view, I appreciate how supportive and capable my fellow team members are. Everyone works so hard, but we know how and when to have fun. It’s a great balance.


What advice can you give to someone who aspires to a career in the gaming industry?

When you play games, analyse what you like and don’t like, and write about them! Remember, particularly if you’re going for a creative role, it’s important to play games and study/develop them, but it’s also important to gain varied life experiences for inspiration. Cultivate other hobbies and interests. Don’t be afraid to try new things!

Also, don’t give up, but don’t be too picky when you’re first starting out. Use any opportunity to get your foot in the door. It took me more than 6 months of hunting to land my first job, and while it may not have been my first choice, the skills I gained there were invaluable to my career.


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