While working in the IT industry, I’ve had a positive impact and made a difference, over and over, across the world. Before I went to college, I worked as a software QA tester and I also did software how-to documentation. Because I picked up new software programs with ease, I constantly learned new things and fun things. This piqued my interest in the Gaming Industry and I continued this trend during college and after I graduated.

While I was at college, I did volunteer work on a Multi-User Dungeon (text based game), which was eventually turned into an English language teaching tool in Japan for Japanese students wanting to learn English. I wrote Non-Player Character (NPC) dialogue, item descriptions, settings and scenery, which helped students to perfect their grasp of the English language. I conducted testing on the game and wrote support documentation to help the instructor so that he could maintain and update the game for his students. It was really neat to me that I was at college in Tennessee, yet I was having an impact on the lives of students in Japan!

After I graduated from college with my B.A. in Anthropology, I went to work for a video game development company. We created video games that could be played by people of all ages. I created wikis and self-help player support webpages that were written for a wide audience range of 10 and up. I often still functioned as a software QA tester. While weekly releases had to be tested for bugs, so did the payment systems, the ad systems and mobile games. There is really never an end to testing for bugs in software if you’re continuously having releases. Being a software QA tester requires you to be methodical and organized. You need to keep track of the bugs you find, if the bugs are reproducible, the steps required to reproduce the bug, and more. Keeping the games, payment system, and ad systems bug free was often a never-ending responsibility. Plus, you never get bored! There’s always something new to try and break, or new software and technologies to research.

I also worked as a technical writer. Writing is my passion, so I always find ways to incorporate it into whatever I do. I created help wikis to be accessible by audiences of all ages. Trying to think from the perspective of a 10 year old to create easy to follow ‘how to’ guides was fun and challenging, as was writing soothing pieces for parents explaining gaming terminology.

By choosing to work in IT for just these companies, I helped over one million people. I’ve since gone on to work for other companies and reach more people. I’ve expanded what I write about to include beauty and I’ve even incorporated videos! I know that I’ve touched so many lives through my choices. I’ve helped college students in Japan who I will never meet, as well as many children and adults around the world, all because of my love of video games, writing, and testing. This makes me feel good about my choices!

I was given the opportunity to share my story by Capella University. Capella University is a rigorous and supportive learning community that can transform your education into work that makes a difference in the lives of others. At Capella, you will develop the knowledge to help others reach their potential. Your degree will change more lives than just your own. They offer several different IT degrees. Learn more on their website and by visiting the following links:

· Graduate stories: http://www.insidecapella.com/our-graduates.asp

· Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CapellaUniversity

· YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/CapellaInspires

Now, BlogHer will donate $1 for every comment on this post, up to $500 to my favorite charity, Reading Is Fundamental. Just answer this question: Who was your favorite teacher in school and how did they influence you?

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