Employee Profile – Robert Hamiter
Zynga continues its celebration of Black History Month this week with Robert Hamiter. He is based in our San Francisco office as a Quality Assurance Analyst. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Los Angeles, Rob is an avid gamer who has enjoyed the growth and creativity of the video game industry over the years.
What is your role within Zynga and how did you get here?
I am a Quality Assurance (QA) Analyst which means I make sure our games function properly and give users the best gaming experience possible. I’ve worked in the video game industry since the 90’s with some of the biggest companies in gaming like Electronic Arts, SEGA, Capcom and Ubisoft. Most of my career has been in the console space before joining Zynga in 2015. I currently work on Hit it Rich, a mobile & web based game, where I lead a team of 23 testers.
Tell me how the company supported your growth?
Zynga provides an opportunity to further my training with QA classes and certifications. Since Zynga often hires from within, I’ve been fortunate to grow my career here. While some of it is being in the right place at the right time, it’s also about having the right skill set and the opportunity to grow.
What is the overall mission of the QA analyst?
The QA team strives to provide the best quality gaming experience for our users and release new features on time. We work to ensure proper functionality and a good user experience for all our players.
How does it feel when you see your work in a real life setting?
I smile to myself whenever I see someone playing a game I’ve worked on. As a lifelong gamer, I share in the joy people derive from gaming.
What is it like being diverse in gaming?
I’ve worked for video companies where I could count the number of people of color on one hand and still have fingers left over. The industry is definitely more diverse (POC and women are better represented) but there’s still room for improvement. Employee resource groups like Zynga’s Black Zynga Union (BZU) is a great starting place for strengthening our community and opening a conversation about diversity in gaming.
What is a common misconception your industry faces and what is the reality?
The video game industry is like every other one: people of a group (ethnicity, gender, religion, etc) are often seen as one uniformed mass of people when we’re as diverse in our thinking and behaviors as any other sub group or majority. I’d like to see that change in gaming and in life.
What would someone be surprised to learn about your company or profession?
I think people are surprised that video games are a multibillion dollar industry that has every discipline and career available as a more “serious” business. While our culture may be more easy going than most, it’s not all fun and games when making games. A LOT of work goes into our products but it’s worth it when you get positive feedback from a passionate fan.