Since our foundation in 2002, VSTEP has evolved into a dynamic industry player with an important role on the world stage of simulation technologies. Constant innovation and cooperation between our talented professionals make this possible. VSTEP’s workforce ranges from veteran employees to ambitious interns and everything in between. To consistently deliver the best solutions, a focus must be put onto the maintenance of product quality. In this edition of Behind the Simulator, we give you a peek into the Quality Assurance (QA) process through the eyes of Luuk Prinsen – a QA intern.
Can you tell us about your background?
“My name is Luuk Prinsen and I am a student at Breda University of Applied Sciences. Previously, I have gone through several studies, which helped me gain base knowledge in various fields: Game Artist, Game Programming, Psychology and Law, before eventually sticking to Game Design and Production. After a while in the Game Design and Production programme, I switched to become a lighting designer / artist, and for a short while I was a VFX artist. In the end, I was hired as a QA intern at VSTEP, after which I will finally be able to finish my university studies.”
Can you give us a glimpse of your tasks at VSTEP?
“Currently I am partly responsible for the Quality Assurance of the Response Simulator (RS) product. When I started out, I was only doing QA for 3D content, however I did well enough to take on more tasks in the QA process of our RS product. Naturally, most issues are solved by our developers before they even reach me, so I am more of a safety net for those sneaky issues that do get through. Besides this, I have recently started working with NAUTIS and learning about ship handling, which keeps me quite busy.”
What do you find most challenging about your tasks?
“The reproduction of bugs, glitches, etc. is what I currently find most challenging. I have found that I am quite good at identifying these issues, however, it sometimes can be hard to figure out how and when these issues happen. It’s a valuable skill to have too, as it makes it easier for developers to know what they need to fix. It is especially important to report such issues in a clear manner and include as much data as possible, such as crash logs, repro steps and screenshots.”
What do you enjoy the most about working at VSTEP?
“I enjoy the people that I work with the most. Everyone here is nice and great to work with. It appears to me that everyone here interacts casually, while still maintaining a level of professionalism when necessary. Based on my previous experience I know that your colleagues can really make or break the enjoyment of your work. Luckily, VSTEP is the former.
Additionally, another aspect I enjoy is seeing the new versions of RS (and in the future NAUTIS) become increasingly more stable over time with improved training capabilities. The harder my job is, the better. Because this means we are assuring high quality of our products and avoiding defects and problems for customers. “
What are the biggest takeaways from your internship?
“I am currently halfway through my internship and so far, my biggest takeaway is that I work much better in teams. In the past I found it difficult to motivate myself when working alone, so I’d like to think I’m working quite well as a team player now.
I have also developed a different view on internships, as at VSTEP, I have gotten more responsibilities than I would have expected. I was responsible for some challenging projects that made an impact on product development. I do not think this is a bad thing, since the goal of internships is to gain experience after all.
I would like to extend special thanks towards Steve Claes (CTO at VSTEP) and Tom Prinsen (former VSTEP QA engineer and my brother) for guiding me towards this internship. I wouldn’t be taking this interview without their help.”
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