Epidemiologists and economists alike have long struggled with overcoming the unpredictability in human behavior. In 2005, a bug was introduced in the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft that ended up lending valuable insights into this difficult problem. Scientists realized that because the game was played by people of both genders, all walks of life, races, ages, and demographics, their behavior during this glitch-induced plague could potentially add insight to insufficient computer models.
Margaret Gourlay draws on this research to share insight into what works and what doesn’t for functional teams within massively multiplayer online games, as well as lessons learned from older massively multiplayer in-person games. Margaret outlines what constitutes a functional and happy group of people working toward a common cause, in games as well as software engineering or development teams, and explains how using these ideas has helped VictorOps strategically grow its engineering team in unexpected ways.
Margaret Gourlay is a senior QA engineer at VictorOps. Margaret’s background is in video game quality assurance. She holds a degree in theoretical math. When she’s not working, she enjoys playing games with friends far and wide, learning new things, and playing outside with her kids.
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