Vice President, Global Quality Assurance
Blizzard Entertainment’s track record of #1 games spans more than two decades, including its most recent releases, Overwatch™, World of Warcraft®: Battle for Azeroth™, Hearthstone®, Diablo®III: Reaper of Souls™, and StarCraft® II: Legacy of the Void ™. The company has also garnered broad critical acclaim, achieving multiple Game of the Year awards across each of its blockbuster franchises. In addition, Blizzard Entertainment’s online-game service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
In addition to games, Blizzard Entertainment is also positioning itself as a broader media and entertainment leader. In January 2016 Activision Blizzard acquired Major League Gaming (MLG), resulting in the formation of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues.
Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues is uniquely positioned to create long term value via the creation of individual gaming leagues for Activision Blizzard franchises and commercialization of the Blizzard and Activision esports portfolio through brand partnership and media rights sales. Leading the charge, The Overwatch League (OWL) represents one of the first truly global, culturally relevant esports leagues, combining the best of traditional sports and esports. 2017 was a critical year for the Leagues business. The Overwatch League team saw great success as they signed 12 world-class owners, launched programming to a very large audience, and quickly became the most commercially successful esports program in history. Similarly, the Call of Duty World League (CWL) team successfully launched the Global Pro League from the MLG studio in Ohio and have continued to grow the already popular Call of Duty esports scene.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard, was founded in 1991 under the name Silicon & Synapse by Senior Vice President & Executive Producer Allen Adham, President & CEO Michael Morhaime, and Chief Product Officer Frank Pearce.
BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT MISSION STATEMENT AND CORE VALUES
Mission Statement: Dedicated to creating the most epic entertainment experiences...ever.
Core Values: Blizzard Entertainment’s eight core values represent the principles and beliefs that have guided our company throughout the years. These values are reflected in employees' decisions and actions every day.
- Gameplay First -- Everything we do at Blizzard Entertainment is based on the success of the gaming experiences we provide our players. The goal of each discipline within the company -- be it art, programming or customer support -- is to make our games as fun as possible for as many people as we can reach.
- Commit to Quality -- “Blizzard polish” doesn’t just refer to our gameplay experiences, but to every aspect of our jobs. We approach each task carefully and seriously. We seek honest feedback and use it to improve the quality of our work. At the end of the day, most players won’t remember whether the game was late -- only whether it was great.
- Play Nice; Play Fair -- In our business first impressions are important -- but lasting impressions are everything. We strive to maintain a high level of respect and integrity in all interactions with our players, colleagues, and business partners. The conduct of each Blizzard Entertainment employee, whether online or offline, can reflect on the entire company.
- Embrace your Inner Geek -- Everyone here is a geek at heart. Cutting-edge technology, comic books, science fiction, top-end video cards, action figures with the kung-fu grip…. Whatever it is they’re passionate about, it matters that each employee embraces it! Their unique enthusiasm helps to shape the fun, creative culture that is Blizzard Entertainment.
- Every Voice Matters -- Great ideas can come from anywhere. Blizzard Entertainment is what it is today because of the voices of our players and of each member of the company. Every employee is encouraged to speak up, listen, be respectful of other opinions, and embrace criticism as just another avenue for great ideas.
- Think Globally -- Everywhere on the planet there are people who play Blizzard Entertainment games. While respecting the cultural diversity that makes people unique, we strive to grow and support our global gaming community. We also seek the most passionate, talented people in the world to enrich our company and help us forge the future vision of Blizzard Entertainment.
- Lead Responsibly -- Our products and practices can affect not only our employees and players -- but the industry at large. As one of the world’s leading game companies, we’re committed to making ethical decisions, always keeping our players in mind, and setting a strong example of professionalism and excellence at all times.
- Learn and Grow -- The games industry is ever-changing. Technology improves, techniques change, and design philosophies become outdated. Since the founding of Blizzard Entertainment, we’ve worked to improve through experience, teaching one another and cultivating the desire to be the best at what we do. We see this as an individual responsibility as well as a company one. Employees can count on their peers, managers, and the company itself to be supportive and help them gain the knowledge and training they need.
Creating epic Blizzard gaming experiences like raiding the Black Temple and exploring the depths of Sanctuary come after talented teams spend thousands of hours perfecting the final product.
Blizzard Entertainment is seeking a world-class quality assurance leader with a rare blend of technical proficiency, qualitative understanding and executive leadership skills to lead multiple test and automation focused departments including Quality Assurance, Test Engineering, Compatibility, Mastering and Submission, User Research, and QA Operations. As the Vice President, Global Quality Assurance, you will be the senior executive focused on cultivating and driving world-class test services, on test quality and process efficacy, efficiency, automation, and continuous improvement. Blizzard Entertainment hosts a large and complex online gaming environment and understanding dynamics associated with delivering products in this type of environment, will be critical success factor. This role will manage a 350+ person multi-generational organization, with a primary focus of championing quality and assisting our development partners to achieve the epic launches our customers have come to expect.
In this role, you will be responsible for providing strategic test vision, leadership and operational direction for Blizzard’s global test organization, while finding creative ways to energize and grow a diverse team of test professionals. The successful candidate will be smart, candid, direct and non-political, with a highly developed sense of ethics, energy, confidence, creativity, and ambition. This person will be team-oriented, with an assertive personal style, possessing highly developed interpersonal skills, and is adept as an influencer and negotiator. We seek a forward-thinking leader who can evolve the quality assurance department into a modern test and automation asset. If you possess the rare blend of strategic technical vision, combined with a forward thinking, business-oriented mindset and passion for talent development, we want to speak with you.
More specifically, responsibilities include:
- Lead the vision and evaluation of existing technologies and test methodologies, working with technical leadership throughout Blizzard to develop, implement, and refine our test strategy, with a goal of increasing the speed and efficiency of development, mitigating risk around developing and supporting multiple products globally, while improving the scalability and extendibility of the test organization.
- Lead and align all stakeholders on the automation test strategy and partner closely with the QA Tech Director and the development teams to understand and deliver on the test automation needs.
- Work with executive leadership to understand business drivers, market requirements, and risks that may impact live product support or new product launches.
- Develop the global test vision, identifying critical success factors and aligning division / stakeholders.
- Drive division wide innovative technology and process improvement adoption into the SDLC to improve quality, speed, reliability and predictability.
- Lead and evolve the global test teams in support of multiple internal and external dev teams; lead, connect, and partner with teams across Blizzard to ensure the best launches for our customers.
- Develop a strong bench strength and succession plan within all areas of the division.
- Close partnership with stakeholders to ensure the teams are providing high value test-related services.
- Ensure regional teams are aligned to the global vision and validating that our global customers are receiving an equivalent product / service.
- Facilitate resolution of project impacting issues that require higher level intervention.
- Champion and influence software development best practices and the customer experience.
- Represent the test organization with the executive team. Providing the most valuable qualitative data to inform business decisions.
- MBA/BS in computer science, engineering or related major or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Minimum of 15 years of professional experience with minimum of 10 years’ experience leading seasoned test and/ or tech teams.
- Demonstrated success leading a quality centric engineering, test and / or product organizations.
- Demonstrated fiscal and strategic planning management expertise running a global quality assurance organization, development or technology team.
- Demonstrated success driving process improvement and innovation for large scale organizations.
- Experience leading organizational change efforts and org development.
- Experience with white/gray/black box and automation test methods.
- Experience leading Test engineering and managing a company automation strategy / vision.
- Demonstrated experience end-to-end test planning on AAA multiple products.
- Successful releases of multiple game titles as a Test Director, QA Director or equivalent.
- Experience managing diverse cross functional technical teams.
- Track record optimizing test workflows inside various SDLCs.
- Familiarity with Blizzard Entertainment line of products and services.
- ISTQB or CSTE certification or equivalent.
- Working knowledge of CMMI, TMMI.
- Working knowledge of Dev Ops, Data Science, Engineering and Visualization applied to test.
- Demonstratable high level progression in the genre that the candidate is applying for.
- Has shipped multiple AAA games as a Test Director, QA Director or equivalent.
- Has a good working knowledge of Automation and / or Machine learning best practices.
Leadership & Behavioral Competencies
- Personal presence, gravitas, excellent interpersonal skills and the cultural sensitivity to work with a diverse, international team.
- Relentless drive for quality, service and the best player experience.
- Ability to communicate effectively at the executive leadership level.
- Demonstrated initiative in a fast-paced environment; proactive, roll-up-one’s-sleeves attitude and a strong work ethic
- A strong identification with the Blizzard Values
- Demonstrated open and collaborative style and comfort in working in a matrixed organization and ambiguous environments; team orientation
- Excellent organization skills and attention to detail
- An ability to balance business requirements, stakeholder needs and our desire to continuously improve.
- Ability to work concurrently on a variety of projects in support of multiple teams, to effectively prioritize, and to work under demanding deadlines while uplifting those around you.
- Effectiveness in managing internal stakeholder expectations and escalating when appropriate.
- Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking; unbridled curiosity, passion, and strong critical thinking skills
- An enthusiasm and passion for games, maximizing the engagement of our customers and protecting our employees.
- Strong leadership skills and a focus on mentoring others.
- A calm and unflappable demeanor; tech savvy nature, egoless confidence, and an inspirational and open style.
Year One Objectives
- Finalize SDET vision for the company and align with all the stakeholders.
- Deliver full org, leadership and capability assessment related to future strategy, with relevant action plan to address gaps.
- Fully explore alternate workforce engagement models, using efficiency and scale lenses, as we continue to support more games over time.
- Fill key leadership roles and onboard new leaders.
- Continue to hire against open SDET positions, specifically focused on solving the biggest challenge, Sr. / Lead SDET hiring.
- Develop the 3-5-year automation plan.
- Identify additional data sharing optimizations within the group and provide additional data to our stakeholders.
- Fully rollout the companies flighting vision, aligning all stakeholders and building the required technology in the company’s incubation titles.
- Continue to evolve our service offerings in Test related department, maintaining their status as best in class.
- Build a strong bench strength within the test leadership team, closing the gap between the Test Managers and Test Leads.
- Foster a culture of communication, transparency, engagement and diversity - improve employee satisfaction to 85% by end of 2020
- Continue to drive diversity initiatives within the department maintaining our leads as one of the most diverse groups within the company.