Thomas: My name is Thomas Wiley and I am the Automation Overlord here at Bungie. I am in charge of a fleet of machines that continuously run the game to provide automated coverage of all of our game code. This frees up other testers from testing the boring areas so they can focus on deeper, in-game bugs. I also work with the SDET team on our in-studio websites and tools.
Thomas: SDET stands for Software Development Engineer in Test, and the SDETs at Bungie focus on providing support to the various test teams with tools and internal websites that help their work flows and increase their productivity.
Thomas: I believe my contributions are subtle but meaningful. The majority of the high level crashes are found by the AutoBVT system, which saves everyone time and a headache.
Thomas: Build Verification Test. It’s a series of tests that are run against every build to ensure that it reaches a certain bar. If a build passes the BVT, we allow engineers and designers to work on that build. If it fails the BVT, we require bug fixes before signing off on it.
Thomas: Just like the majority of the other people around here, my interests revolve around video games. I am an equal opportunity gamer, enjoying both consoles and PC. If the game is competitive, you’ll find me there: Halo, DOTA, Starcraft, Hearthstone – I play them all. Also, my wife and I have just started training to climb Mt. Rainier, so I do leave the house occasionally.
Thomas: When I was younger, I wanted to be an Electrical Engineer. My parents really wanted me to be that and said repeatedly that’s what I would be good at. So to spite them, I went to college and got my degree in English!
Thomas: Immediately after college, I spent some time writing technical documentation for the University of Nevada in their Facilities Management department – working with the on-site software engineer there. I think I lucked out with my degree, as I left everything to pursue a career in games, and as it turns out, bug writing and technical documentation are very similar.
Thomas: I think my obsession with actually creating games instead of just playing them began with Diablo II. I fell in love with the lore and art style of that game. I felt very immersed and played it every hour that I could. From that game spawned my love of RPGs.
Thomas: I started at Microsoft, working as a PvP content tester for Halo 4, and I busted my ass to write as many bugs as possible. When that was wrapping up, I had made some contacts at Bungie and I was really excited to be a part of the next big project here – Destiny. Having prior experience was very helpful, but I also have a wide range of skills to bring to the table. I think that ultimately landed me the job. I was very interested in coding and constantly improving.
Thomas: They asked me how I would test a magical trash can. I’ve never tested something magical before, and while it was a good practice, it caught me off guard.
Thomas: Every week that I am here, I come up with a new best thing about working for Bungie. I think the absolute best part about working for Bungie is not something specific, but more that I look forward to coming to work each day. I’ve never experienced that feeling before and I will work as hard as I can to never let that feeling go away.
Thomas: I work a really nice shift. Since the majority of my testing is done by computers, I typically come in around 6-7 in the morning and start to review results from the previous night. I log bugs and prepare reports for the engineers who come in at 10. The mornings are great because it’s pretty empty in here - and dark. I find it the most productive part of the day. From 10 until around 5-6, I’m usually working on new features for our various websites, writing new scripts to be run, or attending meetings.
Thomas: Bungie provides enough beef jerky to feed a small army.
Thomas: I work in a team of very smart people. My biggest challenge is trying to keep up with them. I started without knowing any code, and every day I teach myself something new in order to be the best I can.
Thomas: When I got a chance to start coding, I went out and bought multiple books to learn as much C# as possible. Now that I’ve grown comfortable coding, I look to find “impossible” problems and tackle them. The best way I’ve found to learn is to be completely stumped and then work hard to figure out how to accomplish it. Overcoming hurdles by yourself through research cannot be surpassed for learning.
Thomas: About two weeks before E3 in 2013, it was all hands on deck for testing every part of our demonstration because we were doing it live. The build looked extremely stable, but AutoBVT managed to find a crash that no one else had found. We were able to get it fixed and our E3 presentation went amazingly well.
Thomas: I can only answer for the Test department: You need to have an eye for detail and a mind to do things out of the ordinary. Everyone can play from point A to point B and find the issues, but it’s up to you to be able to find that point C. This is where the majority of the lesser-found bugs lie and can cause major issues when the product launches.
Thomas: Everything you see and do in Destiny, you can know that automation has tested that area. Every AI, every activity, every weapon – automation thoroughly tested it all to bring you the best user experience possible!
Thomas: I’m so excited to have a character that isn’t going to be wiped! I have a specific armor set picked out for my Warlock that I want to go and collect.
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