There’s a new company in Scotland’s growing firmament of gaming wonder. It’s not a development studio, but a company offering quality assurance and testing. Proper QA is based in Edinburgh and is the branchild of CEO Nick Barrett.
QA is one of those aspects of development which is often overlooked, or which many people outside gaming assume is a bunch of people sitting around playing games all day. That’s so far from the truth, that we decided we’d speak to Nick directly and ask him about Proper QA and the services on offer.
Scottishgames.net: Hi Nick, thanks for taking the time to speak to us. So what’s your background in QA?
Nick Barrett: I entered the games industry back in the year 2000. I’ve since clocked up the QA for well over 50 AAA releases. I served seven years with Electronic Arts, climbing the QA ladder before joining Realtime Worlds in 2007, building a global QA structure for the company, from the ground up. In 2010 I took a VP role with E4E interactive entertainment, taking charge of global operations with offices in the UK, US and India and over 400 staff. I decided the time was right to go my own way and try to build something new, which led directly to Proper QA.
Scottishgames.net: So what exactly does Proper QA do?
Nick: Proper QA is a service provider to the video-games industry, specialising in Quality assurance testing and the creation of practical test management tools. Proper QA works with Publishers and developers ensuring their products are of the highest quality before being released to market.
Scottishgames.net: You told us that Proper QA was different from the run-of-the-mill companies out there. How exactly are you different?
Nick: We don’t sell an “off the shelf” package and our clients aren’t just buying X-many test hours at X-dollars per hour. Our service is 100% customised for each client. Too many QA service providers operate purely by numbers and fall into poor practices and “agency-mentality” that can lead to the quality of the service taking a back seat to the need to have all their staff utilised all of the time to reduce costs. At proper QA our core value is that quality comes before everything else, always and without question or compromise.
Scottishgames.net: Are you focused on any specific type of client or work?
Nick: Proper QA was started as outsource management consultancy practice but as with all things, we had to adapt to our environment. Despite having our help selecting vendors and service providers, a lot of our clients, particularly those with smaller and medium sized business were still dissatisfied by the level of quality they were getting from their outsource partners and we were finding it more and more difficult to recommend suitable vendors, so with the old adage: “If you want it done right…” ringing in our ears, we broadened the range of services on offered and now have a team of full time professional software testers. Recently we’ve found ourselves doing a lot of work in the mobile, casual and app sector as our team and their approach have the flexibility needed to adapt to this fast moving environment.
Scottishgames.net: What are your plans for Proper QA moving forward?
Nick: We didn’t start this financial year with arbitrary sales targets. Instead we made a commitment to deliver the highest quality or service possible with the conviction that by delivering this, the business will look after itself
Thanks to Nick for his time. You can contact Nick and Proper QA through the company’s website.
Move quickly, since the company has now been listed in the surgically precise Scottishgames.net Company Directory and are therefore now being viewed by the whole wide world.