QA, a Giant Rat, and Iraq

by Darius Kazemi on November 9, 2007

in anecdotes,nostalgia,wtf

So my very first game industry job was as a QA tester at Turbine. I started exactly one week before Halloween. There was a guy named Thatcher who was working in QA but got moved to the Design group just before I arrived. I got his old cubicle, I think.

Anyway, for Halloween someone in the QA department bought an oversized, scary-looking plastic rat. I dubbed him “Ratcher” and he became Thatcher’s replacement.

Ratcher was the best worker in the department. When I would write an automated script to scan through all our Excel-based testplan documents, the script would take about 2 hours to plow through our thousands of testplans. The dedication to actually having testplans is one of the reasons why Turbine’s QA department is really awesome. During these hours, I would usually go off for an extended lunch, or sleep on the couch in the break room, or just wander around the building asking people what they’re up to. (I was totally a manager back then, at least in my head.) While I was away from my desk, I’d sit Ratcher at my chair, put his paws on the keyboard, and slap a post-it on the back of his head saying something like “STAND BACK! IMPORTANT QA WORK BEING DONE.”

Anyway, Ratcher maintained a high profile as one of the best testers in the department even after I transferred out of QA into another department. However, I just got some exciting news! It seems that he’s on duty in Iraq! My friend Jamal Ingram, who is also on duty in Iraq, decided to take him along. Here he is as the mascot of a military vehicle:

From test automation mascot to military mascot. You’ve come a long way, Ratcher!

If other Turbine or ex-Turbine folks who read my blog have stories of Ratcher’s exploits, I encourage you to submit them here :)

{ 1 comment }

David McGraw November 9, 2007 at 8:49 pm

How cool is that!? Having served over in Iraq for the Marine Corps, there sure is no shortage of keepsakes that make their way to that region. I bet the locals get a real kick out of it, too!

I found my way to your blog through your writings on Networking. I’m about to graduate from College next year and I can’t thank you enough for writing up this stuff! Stay motivated, and I’m sure you’ll see me around some more!

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