Part two of our Testing series focuses on Jacob’s experience as a Test Automation Engineer at a professional services firm. This blog outlines the requirements of Jacob’s role and the support he receives from his professional role models. Read below to find out more…
DW: And now you’ve spent a year as a Test Automation Engineer at a professional services firm, writing API and UI tests, has that perception changed? Do you now see yourself embracing Test Automation for the long-term? And how long did that shift take?
JS: Not long at all! A month or so into my client assignment, when I understood what the job involved, I started to see that it’s a viable career path. I was meeting people who’d made great careers of it, who were hugely supportive, and made it clear there are loads of pathways to a career within quality and test.
DW: Do you have role models in testing around you at your client? Are there people in roles that ultimately, you’d like to be in?
JS: Yes! At my client you become part of a guild, and I’ve met loads of people who are great role models.
DW: One thing I’ve seen commonly is a heavy emphasis on automation, and a move away from manual testing. I used to subscribe to that mindset for quite a while, but less so now. Where do you stand on that mix of manual versus automation? How much time do you spend thinking and exploring versus coding?
JS: It’s 50/50 for me. I learn through doing, so I’ll read through a ticket a couple of times, then I’ll pull up the journey in the test environment, and cross reference that with the ticket so I can start to understand it. I do a fair amount of manual exploratory testing to understand the work, and then I can automate it a lot more easily.
DW: What do you enjoy about automating testing? What satisfaction do you get from it?
JS: It’s rewarding when you do it well and it works! I get a lot of enjoyment from writing clean, modular code, so when you’re writing loads of test cases and the code you’ve written is reusable, it’s just really satisfying!
DW: I get that! How often do your automated tests find issues?
JS: Every release without fail! Recently it’s become more stable, but with every release we find issues. It’s rarely major problems – although those happen, the tests give us peace of mind! If you run 5,000 tests and they’re all passing, clearly something’s working!
DW: Somebody I hugely respect recently said to me ‘The reason I like being in testing is I like to be the smartest person in the room!’. Personally, I do quite like that I’m the person to find the problem, so I agree with him to some extent. How do you feel about that statement?
JS: I don’t think I’ve ever felt like the smartest person in the room – you should always try not to be! But it can feel quite good to be the person to find the issue!
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