Adapting Automation to the Available Workforce

T4     Start Time : 15:00     End Time : 15:45

The central theme of the talk is around the adaptation of the test process to fit the existing workforce. The exponential expansion in the complexity of software applications has meant it is no longer possible to get the required coverage by manual testing alone. The move towards automation, and more recently maintainable automation, has meant a blurring of the line between the traditional roles of the QA and the Developer. Out of this fuzziness has emerged a new hero, the SDET (Software Developer Engineer in Test).

This role is now the second most in demand role in IT in 2014.

The issue is that, in the main, the workforce has not caught up with this change and many IT employees are still stuck in their traditional pigeon holes of QA or Development. The main purpose of the framework I created to combat this workplace shortage (as a company we have had difficulties hiring for SDET roles) was to remove the requirement to have a SDET in each team by splitting the test process into two sub-processes:

  • Developers put a test structure in place, creating page objects etc.
  • Testers write their tests by plugging in the test data to get the required code coverage.

This allows both roles to focus on what they do best and allows for the most efficient (in terms of time and money) use of the teams time as developers don’t spend time plugging in test data and QA don’t spend time try to learn a whole new paradigm. Importantly, though, it allows for cross-pollination and a better understanding of the other roles within the team and a breaking down of the mini-silo effect within teams.

  • Speaker

  • Colm Harrington - , Realex, Ireland

    I am a SDET/Automation test engineer with Realex Payments based in Dublin with responsibilities for both front end (via Selenium) and API testing. I have worked in the software industry, for various companies including Microsoft and Sage Ireland, for over 9 years.

    My real passion is simplifying the test process of complex applications and integrating the test process seamlessly into the SDLC.