I am currently a contract employee at EA Sports. I get asked a lot of questions about what it’s like to work at EA, so I thought I’d do a little FAQ round-up for all y’all.

Enjoy!

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So, what is it like to work at EA? Working at EA is like working in the emergency room at a hospital for Lego people.

Awesome. It must be super laid back and fun, eh? Well, it can certainly be fun, yes (especially at wrap parties), but it’s not laid back. At all. It’s actually quite stressful at times, because things tend to move a mile a minute, and if you can’t keep up, you’re left behind. And laughed at. And that hurts, man. It really, really hurts.

Do you make video games? EA? Yes. Me? No. But I make sure that the people who DO make video games are happy and unencumbered from making video games.

So, what do you DO there? I’m what’s called a Production Coordinator. In essence, I work for a team of about 65 people who spend their day thinking up ways for real people to kill fake people in an entertaining way. I’m kind of like a team assistant -I ask IT to fix their stuff, I make sure the beer fridge is full, I plan events, I help order huge amounts of food for when they have to work overtime and are sick of the tuna wraps in the caf… it’s all very exciting. Huh. You know what? I’m totally going to refer to myself as an Adventure Secretary from this point on. Why didn’t I think of that 6 weeks ago?!

Is it true that you can sleep at work? If you can sleep in a room of 30 people who are all playing the same game, and communicating with each other through headsets while screaming things like “GO! GO! GO! GET OUT OF THERE!” and, “SHIT! I’M HIT! I NEED A MEDIC – WHO THE FUCK IS THE MEDIC?!”, and “YOU ASSHOLE! WHY DIDN’T YOU KILL THAT MARACA-WEILDING OGRE ON THE 2nd LEVEL WHEN YOU HAD THE CHANCE?!”… well, then good on ya’, because I know I sure as hell couldn’t sleep at work.

(update: on Wednesday I actually heard someone yell, “I NEED A PROBE! IT’S OGRE TIME… GIVE ME A PROBE!”)

Are you the only woman there? Nope! There are 5 other women on the same team as I am. Programmers, QA testers, my crazy, kick-ass supervisor, and some lady with the greatest laugh in the history of ever. I like her. She has pink headphones.

Headphones? Everyone wears headphones. BIG, noice-canceling headphones. Why? Because they’re not one of the 30 people yelling, “I NEED A PROBE! IT’S OGRE TIME… GIVE ME A PROBE!” that’s why.

Do people really bring their dogs to work? Yes. Currently on my team alone, we have 1) Coco, who is an adorable white fluffball with an underbite and a pink ‘Juicy Couture’ raincoat (with fur-trimmed hood), 2&3) Ollie and Mini, who are tiny exploding goo bags of dog with tongues that are approximately 4 feet long that move faster than the speed of light and 4) Leni, (my favourite, I’m not ashamed to admit) who is a grumpy-looking, lap-sized haggis with a tail. I have seen lots of other dogs at work. I’ve also seen a cat, and a rabbit.

What are the people like? For the most part, they’re exactly what you would imagine, but with less Cheetos dust.

Do you really get to drink beer at work?! Yes. We tend to have a tipple on Friday afternoons. It’s not like we’re drunken sots who crack a can while signing into our email accounts each morning. Well… most of us aren’t, anyway.

Can you get me a free game? No. But that’s probably because I don’t like you.

Can you get ME a free game? No. It’ll cost you $20.

Is working at EA like working at Google? I’ve never worked at Google, so I couldn’t tell you. It’s probably similar. But with less Cheetos dust.

Can you wear pajamas to work? If you don’t have any dignity and don’t care about respect, then yes, you may. We can wear what we’re comfortable in, but if you go topless you must wear either pasties or body paint. They’re sticklers for that kind of thing.

Do you play video games? Me? No. I was once pretty good at Street Fighter II when I was younger, but I don’t think that counts. As it stands, I can barely type, and can’t tell the difference between an XBOX and a toaster. Pro tip: do not stuff bread in an XBOX by way of determining differentiation.

The building looks awesome! Is it awesome? It’s awesome, isn’t it? Well, yeah, it IS kind of awesome. The gym is rad, I can tell you that much. The building is very big, very bright, and very open. Lots of cubicles, which is totally fine by me, because I get a kick out of watching people ‘groundhog’ up and down to chat with each other all day. *Bill pops up* “Hey Gary, did you get that blocker fixed yet?” *Gary pops up* “Not yet, Bill!” *both sit down and resume working* 

And for the most part the music that they play in the bathroom is pretty cool, except when they have the radio tuned to this really bad hip-hop station that makes me want to pee really, really fast so that I can run far, far away. That sucks.

Oh! And the TVs in the elevators are pretty static-y, so there’s that.

So, it’s not like a giant version of my mom’s basement? Not so much.

I heard a rumour that there’s a Starbucks cafe in the building! That’s a lie. There are two Starbucks cafes in the building.

Are there lots of nerds there? Yep! Nerds, dorks, geeks, dweebs, losers – you name it, we’re here. However, there are very few assholes, dickheads, jackasses, and bullies. It’s the one place that weirdos like me can finally fit in.

Can I come for a tour? Of course! Just call 604-456-3600 and speak to reception. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a chihuahua as a tour guide. (I’m not kidding.)

And the question I get asked MOST often:

Can you get me a job there? I’ve barely got a job here! So, no, I can’t. BUT… If you’re really good at being a grumpy programmer, feel free to look here and send in a resume. But be prepared to work very, very hard. I’ve certainly gained a whole new respect for  nerds  programmers and the like. They may not be saving lives, but they’re hella dedicated, and they’re very good at what they do.

…But they drink really crappy beer, dammit.

Happy Thursday, all!

xo

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