From Solent to Sony
Solent graduate Duncan Tyrer has been working as a functional tester for Sony Interactive Entertainment Group. We talk to him about how his course prepared him for working at one of the world's most well-known organisations, and what a typical day involves.
Duncan Tyrer is a BSc (Hons) Computer Games (Indie) graduate. Since leaving Solent, he's landed a landed a great role as a functional tester for Sony Interactive Entertainment Group. Here, he tells us how his course prepared him for working at one of the world's most well-known organisations, and what a typical day involves.
How did university prepare you for your career?
The modules I studied at university taught me about what I would be doing on a daily basis while working in the games industry, and how to apply the knowledge I've gathered so far into what I do professionally.
What's your favourite Solent memory?
That would be the late-night relaxed studying most of us did as third years in the computer labs. There was no pressure to get anything done, we were able to just enjoy working with everyone around you and learning what you needed to learn at your own pace.
Tell us a little about your career story so far?
I had a part-time internship doing quality assurance (QA) testing with a former Solent lecturer for a year and a half while at university and for the year after. Fortunately, Sony, and many of the other companies I had interviews at, were nice enough to recognise this as actual experience and were also nice enough to offer me a full-time professional job. Since then I've managed to so far gain six months of QA experience at one of the most recognisable companies in the world.
So what are you doing now? What does a typical working day involve?
Work starts around the same time as everywhere else. We check for any development on the product - new issues that have been logged, any communication with the developer that we need to respond to, or an update of the product - then we begin the actual work. Sometimes we get given additional tasks, like making sure the product runs correctly from start to finish, but for the most part, my team tests the product throughout the day, logging issues such as gameplay hiccups, texturing or modelling issues, and questions about gameflow, from the beginning to the end of the day.
What’s your career highlight so far?
It's knowing that what I studied at university - and what I've learned after graduating - was actually correct and that I would be able to apply my knowledge in that field and be a worthwhile part of the team.
What tips would you give to someone wanting a career in your industry?
The biggest and most important advice I can give to anyone looking to get into the games industry is that you've got to be able to work for a place in it. This is a difficult industry to get into, and you have to know you can work hard enough to prove that you are valuable enough to be a part of it.