Thursday, November 8, 2012

[Gd] A Virtual Battlefield... with Bugs: Ship Wars @ Google Kirkland

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Google Testing Blog: A Virtual Battlefield... with Bugs: Ship Wars @ Google Kirkland

By Anthony F. Voellm (aka Tony the @p3rfguy / G+) and Emily Bedont

On Wednesday, October 24th, while sitting under the Solar System, 30 software engineers from the Greater Seattle area came together at Google Kirkland to partake in the first ever Test Edition of Ship Wars. Ship Wars was created by two Google Waterloo engineers, Garret Kelly and Aaron Kemp, as a 20% project. Yes, 20% time does exist at Google!  The object of the game is to code a spaceship that will outperform all others in a virtual universe - algorithm vs algorithm.

The Kirkland event marked the 7th iteration of the program which was also recently done in NYC. Kirkland however was the first time that the game had been customized to encourage exploratory testing. In the case of "Ship Wars the Test Edition," we planted 4 bugs that the engineering participants were awarded for finding. Well, we ran out of prizes and were quickly reminded that when you put a lot of testing minded people in a room, many bugs will be unveiled! One of the best unveiled bugs was not one of the four planted in the simulator. When turning your ship 90 degrees, the ship actually turned -90 degrees. Oops!

Participants were encouraged to test their spaceship built on their own machine or a Google Chromebook. While the coding was done in the browser, the simulator and web server were run on Google Compute Engine. Throughout the 90 minutes, people challenged other participants to duels. Head-to-head battles took place on Chromebooks at the front of the room. There were many accolades called out but in the end, there could only be one champion who would walk away with a brand spankin’ new Nexus7. Check out our video of the evening’s activities.

Sounds fun, huh? We sure hope our participants, including our first place winner shown receiving the Nexus 7 from Garret, enjoyed the evening! Beyond the battles, our guests were introduced to the revived Google Testing Blog, heard firsthand that GTAC will be back in 2013, learned about testing at Google, and interacted with Googlers in a "Googley" environment. Achievement unlocked.

Special thanks to all the Googlers that supported the event!


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