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I am currently doing a short internship for a month at a games developers that may result in a part-time job at the end. I am generally a fast worker, and often complete tasks way before people expect me to. The main problem I have is that I feel as though I am pestering the employees when I am asking for stuff to do, because I'm there every half-hour to an hour. At one point they ran out of stuff for me to do until the manager got back to give me something to work on. Now I am finding it hard to go and ask for more work, because I feel anxious that I am annoying them, even though I know they appreciate having the stuff done.

I've spent time on learning things I want to as well, but whenever I do I feel guilty that I'm not working hard because I'm reading up on coding etc. How do I better approach people asking for work to do without feeling as awkward and how do I make it so that they have an expectation for me to finish things quickly, and not constantly be surprised when I'm already finished?

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    This answer of mine I think covers what to do here. – enderland Aug 14 '17 at 20:37
  • @enderland the issue isn't so much that I'm slacking off or constantly getting them to double check work, it's that I don't like interrupting constantly and feel bad, even if I am making things easier by lowering their workload by getting "time-consuming" jobs done. – Gladiator Kittens Aug 14 '17 at 20:44
  • Did you even read the answer I linked? It has an entire section on "what should I do?" which effectively is the same answer that would work to this question. – enderland Aug 14 '17 at 20:50
  • @enderland I did read your answer but there isn't really any optimising I can do because of the way the company works. – Gladiator Kittens Aug 14 '17 at 21:09
  • @S.Horgan there is ALWAYS optimising that can be done everywhere – SaggingRufus Aug 15 '17 at 10:30
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Don't be apologetic about asking for more work. However, keep in mind that the work that you do produce should be free of error if you are going through it that fast. When I was an intern, I found myself churning through work at a fast pace, but when asked about the work I produced, I found that all I did was go through the motion and did not understand the bigger picture. So I would definitely take some time when you are given a task to understand what you're doing and how it ties in. Come up with a list of questions to ask and ask for feedback. In addition, I would set up a weekly 30 minute meeting with your manager at the end of the week to go over the tasks you completed that week and to come up with a new list for the coming week. This will help you so that you know when Friday comes, you have a list of tasks you completed (with questions) and perhaps this will lead you to discovering new tasks for yourself to complete (in addition to what you will be given) for Monday.

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How do I better approach people asking for work to do without feeling as awkward and how do I make it so that they have an expectation for me to finish things quickly, and not constantly be surprised when I'm already finished?

You simply should never be asking for things to do "every half-hour to an hour". That is far too frequently and makes no sense.

Three things:

  • Instead of asking for a single task, ask for a day's/week's worth of work or more. Perhaps a prioritized list of tasks would be appropriate.
  • Look for projects rather than just things to do.
  • Ask your boss what you should do when you run out of tasks.

Any or all of these things will reduce the need to ask for more work, and will certainly avoid having to ask every half-hour to an hour.

  • I have been asking for more than one task for games testing, but then I run out of games. I think my main problem is the guilt of interrupting people and I need to get over that. – Gladiator Kittens Aug 14 '17 at 21:11
  • Adding to this, it might be worth asking for some low-priority background tasks. From there, when you've finished your regular, main tasks, you can switch to a background task for a while until you are given new tasks. You can also take the initiative and actively look for tasks to do. Rather than saying "what can I do now?", try finding something and asking "is it okay if I take a look at this?". From experience, employers and managers are happier when you work proactively like this especially from intern/trainee level employees. – Longisland Aug 16 '17 at 14:51
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I must agree with Joe that while some tasks are simple enough, if you are blowing through tasks within an hour, they are either not giving you anything hard or you are missing out on key steps. It could be a combination of both, but if you are doing testing to ensure there is no bugs, that can take a while for even the most simple of tests.

It isn't just going through the game and saying yes, if you play correctly this works. It's about doing it not correctly too. Finding ways to break the game. Can I walk into that rock and hide while shooting people while others can't shoot me? If I press the jump button 4 times really quickly do I get stuck floating and are able to sky walk? What if I launch a rocket at the ground with me standing in the corner, can I push myself through the boundaries of the game?

They might or might not have list of specific things to do, but one thing you don't want to do is only test to see if it works doing it correctly. People who intend to exploit the game won't be doing things correctly and it is up to the people who test it to provide feedback on any exploits to maintain the integrity of the application.

I would slow down in your testing and really try to break what ever it is they give you. Even if testing the jump button may or may not be a part of the test instructions, you could sit there and test jumping around and if you find something just mention that while you were testing the xxxx situations you provided, I also noticed that when I jumped... X happens. They are going to tell you that they either know about it, that the jump hasn't been completely programmed yet, or that they will look into it and thank you for mentioning it.

One of the biggest things in the IT world is your ability to take the task and run with it. It is not like homework where you get a set of 10 math problems, you complete 10 math problems, and you get 10 more. That's just busy work. Spend the time going in detail, spend the extra minute exploring something. Your job as a tester is to break things and think differently from the person who wrote the application. Think like the user, think like a hacker. If you think like the programmer then you only repeat what he assumes is correct since you will follow the same logic and may be less likely to find issues.

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