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Old 05-08-2008, 12:40 PM   #1
AcuraSpeed
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Default HELP! Take full time QA job or stay in school for computer science?

Wow, my life has certainly thrown me some twists and turns. I am graduating from college with a Bachelor's in Liberal Arts in 2 weeks, and after unsuccessful job searches, I decided to stay in school and get a second degree in computer science. However, a wrench has been thrown into my plan. A job prospect that I have given up on has arisen. It is a full-time (not temp) QA tester job at an extremely prestigious developer. They also have a contract (temp) job open. I have went through a phone interview, and have a face-to-face interview next week.

I am already signed up to take two summer CS classes at my university (after graduation for my 1st degree), and I will get out of class at 12:30pm and be able to start work at 1:00pm. They will let me do this for the contract position, which is a 4-6 month contract with possibility of extension or permanent hire. However, I cannot do this with the full-time position, which is permanent, pays better, and has benefits. Now I am only pursuing the computer science degree because I think my best shot to really get into the industry is as a programmer (at least at first). I am interested in programming and would enjoy it, however, what I really want to do is design or production, neither of which require me to stay in school for CS, but also are much harder and unlikely to get into. Should I abandon the computer science degree and take the full time job (if I get it), and hope to move on to better things from there? Or would it be smarter to take the part-time contract job and continue my CS studies, with the possibility of losing my job in the industry after 4-6 months? I should also mention that while I would like to follow my dreams of design or production, I am almost geared towards programming because job security and good pay is vital for me. On the other hand, are the chances fairly good that I could move into another field (like production) from the full-time permanent QA job? Please, please help me, I need to decide by next week.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:45 PM   #2
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If you are interested in Design and production I would take the full time job. Chances are you have a better shot of moving up. Plus if you are worried about getting into the industry then you should take a job that is IN the industry already.
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:45 PM   #3
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Agreement from me. Job experience is - as I keep saying - the winner over a qualification in something that doesn't really seem to interest you, other than the money. I started programming when I was 11 years old, and have had one program or another in progress virtually the entire time since then. It is the only job I could see myself doing for the forseeable future (despite being qualified for various others). Yet I still get bored & tired of my job at times. How those time would affect someone who wasn't THAT interested to start with, I don't know. Sounds pretty depressing though...
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:18 PM   #4
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This is one of those cases where you have to make this decision yourself. What I would personally pick is to take on the full time QA role and learn other skills in my spare time.

Worst case scenario is that I become redundant but I would have already made contacts in the industry, have actual real world experience on a project and some money in my pocket. I can choose to do more education if I can't find another job through my contacts.

But hey, that's me. You are you, you have to weigh the decision yourself.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:01 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses everyone. Now I'm kind of leaning toward taking the full time job. It's just so tempting. I'm so excited to go to the interview, just to be in a game studio. I won't say which developer it is, but believe me its a BIG one, especially for this year, and that makes it all the more exciting.

Now I must ask - dress code? I read the page on here that says that khakis and a collared button up are good, but to NOT wear a tie. However, I have spoken online to a guy who works in QA for this developer who told me they will all be in jeans and t shirts, but a shirt and tie doesn't hurt, as professionalism sells. I have a suit, but I'm sure that's over the top. So basically - tie or no tie? Let me know your thoughts.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:53 AM   #6
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Don't wear a tie or a suit. Rule of thumb is don't come to an interview a level better dressed then the person interviewing you. Come in with a tie or a suit puts you on the same level or above the executives working there.

If you are really unsure, ask HR of the company.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuraSpeed View Post
I won't say which developer it is, but believe me its a BIG one, especially for this year, and that makes it all the more exciting.
It's not the size that counts, it's... um, never mind. _

Smart casual it the typical dress code, so generally no tie, but you can wear one if you like. Your interviewer will understand that you dressed up to make a good impression, or that you have a nagging family who refuse to believe that there is a company out there that dont require you to wear a full suit during the interview. My usual dress code is a suit with a black long sleaved shirt, & black tie (for getting past my family) then upon arriving, the tie goes in my pocket and the jacket comes off.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claxon View Post
It's not the size that counts, it's... um, never mind.
When I say a big developer, I don't mean large in size, like Microsoft, I mean in prestige. It is one of the top 5 developers for this year, and they are working on a huge title.

Anyway, I don't really understand Yau's comment about how you shouldn't be dressed up more than the interviewer. I have already been told from an employee there that they will most likely be in jeans and flip-flops, so I'm sorry Yau, but I don't believe that it is appropriate for me to wear the same attire. I personally believe wearing business casual (khakis, shirt and tie) will convey professionalism but not arrogance or audacity. I don't know why the presence of a tie is such a big topic of discussion in this industry. Is it really that big of a deal? Are you really going to judge someone and not hire them because they wanted to look professional for a job they obviously care greatly about? Anyway, the employee that I know that works at this developer said he wore a shirt and tie, and that coming across as professional doesn't hurt, so I'm probably going to stick with his advice. Thanks for all of your advice and any other ideas will be appriciated.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:55 AM   #9
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My preference with not wearing them is exactly that. I simply find wearing a suit & tie uncomfortable, so I don't.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:19 AM   #10
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If you're really concerned about your appearance, call the studio back (whoever is your contact there) and say, "I'm calling to confirm my interview appointment with Ms./Mr. Whoever for tomorrow. Also, I had a question about attire..."

The best advice will come from the inside.

My advice would be to dress neat and clean. Jeans are okay if they are nice, clean and fitted, not slouchy and untailored. Wear proper shoes, not sneakers.

I kind of think a suit jacket would work if you made it casual by wearing it with designer jeans and a fitted t-shirt.

I would say this: How you dress very implicitly tells the interviewer not only what you think about yourself, but also how in tune you are with pop culture, and that's going to be important to a mega game company.

Let us know how it goes!
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