Mostly we code...sometimes we write. Every once in a while, we podcast.

Where are you?
"Where are you?" echoes in my mind. It's leftover from my years in high school when I would play an exorbitant amount of video games at my house and the houses of various friends. I have fond memories of "being seen" and then hiding so I could creep up and slay the enemy. Ah yes, the days where video games ranked high as my entertainment and my relief from the world.

In that period I was often told that video games would never be a source of income and that very few people made a living from testing them.

I would tend to agree. I would further emphasize the truth in that statement in today's world. Especially with a perspective triple "A" title, the beta testers and alpha testers line up around the block and test for free, spending hours running a game's "gauntlets" and reporting bugs with varying levels of skill. A hugely useful pool of information that tweaks the game to the needs of the crowd that will likely enjoy the game when it is released.

I never got my hopes up. In fact, working in the industry of games was never really my intent. I've been happy with reaching into the depths of productivity applications to search and detail bugs. I can dictate a set of steps that will get our developers to the bug with a preciseness that few others attain without practice but my work focus has changed. My skills are being redirected as our clients change. Lately I've found myself logging hours and hours behind Mac and Linux systems to test the features and bugs of various gaming titles.

My newest focus is World of Tanks. If you haven't heard, it's a first person shooter from the seat of a tank. I would liken it to the spirit of BZFlag but in a much more realistic setting. I started off thinking I would never be addicted enough to this game to "get lost in it" hunting tanks. My first looks at the game were at the menus, the garage, the functionality of changing screen sizes, the behavior of getting to a browser from the game. The "tedious" tasks that "just work" after a team of developers and quality assurance masters comb through a title.

Soon the real gameplay started. With an intense title comes the need to play...TEST...for hours. At first, my ability was feeble. I haven't been a "gamer" for years and the abilities of those in their teens to trash a thirty-something tanker became apparent. The round would start, I would chug along and then I'd be done for. My poor "crew" bailing out from the malicious attack. I did what I could, finding places to hide and hoping to not be seen, all in the spirit of watching trees render and tanks whirl by.

Then it happened. From the place I was cowering, I zeroed in on a tank, aimed and DESTROYED. Something awakened in my mind and my thirst to experience triumph again and again surfaced. I was now using my hours of practice hiding to my advantage. The map was blinking and dropping red indicators in place and I was searching for them in my sights, rotating my view over the scenery to detect and annihilate the next unsuspecting tank.

"Where are you?" escaped from my lips and the connection was made. I'm not a tank, I'm a ninja in a tank. Preying on the enemy from the stealth of the shadows. I've now proven to be quite good in some instances. I've heard the exclamations from behind me as I obliterate my unsuspecting targets. Yes, my assassin skills are still there.

I'll never attain the reflex and skill I once enjoyed in my teens but if I've hidden and spotted a tank, certain death is on the way!

About Caron Wills

Caron has been working in the computer software industry for over 10 years. She joined
CodeWeavers in 2008 and became the Quality Assurance Manager for CodeWeavers in 2009. Contact Caron at and learn more about her professional accomplishments on LinkedIn.

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.

Try paintball or airsoft (nothing soft about it), not only do you get a stronger rush, but actually hiding among trees or buildings is a boatload of fun. Great for the cardio! Small risk of injury, if you run like an idiot or get shot from up close, creating small flesh wounds or a twisted ankle (no heels please). So world of tanks is safer, if you don't count the effects of sedentary life...

Of course, if you're like my brother on his first time out, you'll work up a sweat nervously waiting for opponents from behind a bunker and not run even a foot. Or wait so long that you'll get the sh!t scared of you because a guy creeped up from behind (I creep really well for a 6'4" 230lbs monster)... Mwaaahahaahaaa! Or just pick speed with the right timing to rid yourself of that numbskull camping at the wrong place... Oh, so much fun!

So yeah, I get the fun you're having Caron, enjoy!
I love paintball! The sound of *foosh* *foosh* and the adrenaline rush as that paint filled plastic ball whirls past your head, disturbing your hair.

My six foot tall frame hides surprisingly well among the trees and brush. I play in the woods an hour outside of the city and as long as I left my "city girl" shoes at home and wore a decent pair of sneakers, I can gain stealth. I would be no match for the skills programmed into a game but in a group of friends, I can at least contribute to the team.

The worst part is when one of the balls gets lodged inside and clogs up the whole works. There is nothing like being coated in your own color of paint because you were cleaning out the gun on the fly.

    ...or maybe it's the smack of quickly fading pain as someone picks you off and you have no idea where they have hidden themselves.

The best part is finding that stealth spot in the woods where no one can see you yet you can pick off the others one by one. That splatter of your team's paint across the chest, between the shoulders, on the the thigh; that is a mighty feeling!

I should have gone and played paintball this weekend instead of cleaning house and painting!
While paintballing, there was a guy that actually asked what team I was on. I just shot him, as he was in the other team. Even his team members found my answer hilarious, not him though...

Funniest thing to ever happen!
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