International Women’s Day is March 8 – a day to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about discrimination, and take action to drive gender parity. This week, we’re putting a spotlight on just a few of the women inside Ubisoft Winnipeg and the work they do.

Woman sitting on stool

Dev Tester Alla Sariieva tells us about moving studios, and answers the ultimate question – do dev testers really just play all day?

So how long have you been with Ubisoft?

So I actually started in 2020 in the Kyiv studio, and then I moved to the Winnipeg studio about seven months ago – so I’ve been with Ubisoft for about three years. I started on the Immortals Fenyx Rising project, worked with Hyperscape, the Settlers, then moved over to Assassin’s Creed, and now I’m on Rainbow Six Mobile!

Is it a big change testing for a mobile project?

Both mobile gaming and PC gaming have their own benefits and drawbacks. Most games on a mobile device are going to be smaller and much-less graphically intense than a PC or console version but just as much fun.

So a lot of people hear Dev Testers and think you just play the game all day. True or false?

Even my friends ask me this! First thing they ask when they find out I’m a dev tester in the game industry is “How did you get your job?” The second thing they say is “Oh so you play every day for 8 hours”

No, it’s not true. Some days I don’t even touch a mobile device at all, I’m working with the engine, with documentation, and so on. We do play a lot of course – but we need to concentrate on the features that our team is working on and not just play for fun! But our dev team also does run playsessions regularly – we enjoy playing as a team together and pay attention to implemented features in search of some bugs!

What’s the most challenging part of the job?

Woman with corgi

Hmm – what I find interesting now is working beside a lot of programmers!  In the Kyiv studio I was a tester among testers, now in Winnipeg I’m among all different kinds of programmers.

For me it’s a new challenge, so now I’m trying to keep up with them, read more about the engines, and about the technology used here in Winnipeg every day. I’m taking books from our library, watch more videos and it’s a cool challenge for me – to not just to be a tester but to grow more.

I actually was asked a year ago by my team where I wanted to grow here, and in the industry, and the immediate answer was I just want to be a dev tester! But with the situation that is happening now, when the war broke out, I fled with my son to Poland, and started thinking about what I would do next. I remembered Ubisoft has international mobility, and when I found this position, I spoke to the HR team and here I am!

What was what was it like making the shift from one studio to another?

I think we share the same values, and people work for the same goal within the company. Of course there are differences – I was part of the Ukrainian studio with Ukrainian people and here it’s a total other country. But again, within a week of starting my work here I felt comfortable.

What was your personal favourite game to test so far?

Oooh…I think maybe my first, Immortals Fenyx Rising. Yeah. We spent hours and hours on that one!

We have wonderful people here, who are able to create such fantastic and awesome worlds here in games – I hope we can all do a bit more to create these kinds of worlds in real life.