Meet the Team: Cayne McIver, QA Lead

Following his long spell at Sony, Cayne arrived at Skyhook to head up our in-house QA department. Read on to learn more about his journey into QA and his advice for those looking to enter the games industry!

Now then, Cayne, can you tell us a bit about your role at Skyhook?

I’m the QA Lead here at Skyhook, and it covers a whole bunch of responsibilities. Build management, test strategy documentation, QA services and process creation, maintaining bug databases, liaising with external QA teams, managing a QA team, creating and managing test plans, highlighting risk, as well as functionality and compliance testing.


How did you arrive at Skyhook? 

I found myself at Skyhook after a 15-year-long stint at Sony PlayStation, this turned out to be extremely beneficial to the role I now hold! I did a lot of bouncing around between various roles and departments at PlayStation. That gave me the broad experience of disciplines I needed for Skyhook.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

The wide array of relationships and learning that come from the scope of the role. QA touches on every aspect of game development; it has to so that you can ensure the team is delivering a product to the highest standard they can. You can’t do that blindly with a bunch of checklists. You’ve got to get involved, learn about the team and what they enjoy, what they want from a game and how they go about creating it themselves.
It absolutely never gets boring!


What other departments do you work with?

All of them I think, unless there’s some covert shadow department I know nothing of yet…


What project/piece of work are you most proud of so far?

I’ve only been here for eight months, so there’s nothing grand yet. That being said, you’ve got to count the small W’s, and I’m pretty proud of the Jira processes I’ve created! They automate the workflow for creating test cases based on tasks in review, which is pretty cool to me since I started using Jira for the first time at Skyhook.


When did QA click with you as a potential career path? 

I’ve always wanted to make games for as long as I can remember, and I really started getting into it in the 90s with simple tools like Klik&Play and then The Games Factory. But I was never told it was a career choice, so it stayed a hobby.

It wasn’t until 2008, when a friend said, “wanna be a game tester and get paid?” that I realised people make a living testing games!


What education route did you go down to get to the games industry?

I think my education path pretty much highlights why I enjoy QA so much, I have always been really torn between art, science and computers. I did Art, Biology and Chemistry for A-Levels, then on to art college, I realised I didn’t want to go down a medical route. Then I went backpacking because I didn’t want to do art.

I got back from backpacking and started testing games, which is a real dream come true as I can now feed all the interests I have in one job role.


How did you go about looking for a job in the industry?

I checked my text messages! 😀
Thanks Jaz!


What games did you enjoy playing while you were growing up?

Harrier Attack, Teddy Boy, The Incredible Machine 2, Desert Strike, Flashback, Streets of Rage, Civ 2, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2, Vandal Hearts, Halo, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


How would you advise those looking to break into the games industry?

For artists, your portfolio, just fill it. Daily sketch diaries, different mediums, different topics. As a game artist, you’ll always be learning to use new tools so there’s no point on focusing on one. Instead, flesh out that portfolio and show your passion to create and your ability to learn.

For producers, QA is a great starting point as production covers a similar scope to QA. Most producers I know started there.

For designers, find a simple game creation tool you enjoy using, make games and get people to play them!