I hope the wait was not that long! In my last blog post I reflected on my career thus far taking you back to almost 15 years ago when I first got into software testing. In case you missed it check out : Wait how did I get here? Time for reflection (part 1)
In this post I continue that reflection and bring you back to present day, I will start the post with the last paragraph of part 1.
So back to Automation basics at this Telecommunications giant, it was no smooth process indeed. I got there with the view of taking over someone else’s Automation test suite. There were tons of scripts and all looked super advanced. The disadvantage was that there was no one present to give me an idea of what the scripts consisted of, also the Automation Engineer that created the scripts had re-located to another country. Ouch!!
I kept my cool and decided that I was going to tackle this beast piece by piece. In total there must have been over 100 test scripts, which in some places were dependent on each other. With no product knowledge of the application under test and no scripts guidance, I had found myself in a tough position. I decided to use the script itself to guide me through the application, the script code that is and go through each line of code to dissect the inner workings of what they were trying to achieve. After a good few weeks, I had cracked it. Once I understood what the tests were trying to do, I already had won 3 quarter of the battle, the rest was just to fix existing scripts and get the suite running to break back the confidence in their once thriving Automation suite. Some times your have to take a step back to move forward.
After 2 months on the project, I had revived the Automation Suite, and more importantly gained immense knowledge on scripting practices implemented by the previous Automation tester, someone who they called a seasoned pro. This was one of my greatest learning moments.
10 months after starting the project, I was then approached to fill a position at one the top investment companies in South Africa (my now current employer) where I was given the opportunity to bring in Automation to the online space of this financial giant. At the same time an opportunity came up with another South African giant in the Insurance/Investment space (a much bigger company in physical staff numbers). This opportunity was in the Business Analysis space, so this would mean a change in career for me.
I had both offers in front of me, it was definitely no easy decision as both companies and roles were very enticing. I did some massive introspection into where I would be best suited in terms of my long term career as both these companies had the potential to be my home for a long time. I could go deep down into my exact thinking behind my choice, but that would just be going down a whole different rabbit hole.
I basically decided to trust my gut, and go for something where I could potentially make a lasting impression for years to come. Something which I have a passion in, something which allowed me to use my technical and analytical expertise daily. Go somewhere where I would not just be another number.
I decided to go for the Test Automation position at the Investment company. A place where most of young hopeful grads and career experts based in Cape Town hope to be based at.
*Learning: sometimes you just have to trust your gut, especially after doing an introspection 🙂
Its a decision which I value to this day, a turning point in my career. A career which started with loads of movement initially to feel the boundaries of different industries where Software testing and Automation can be a part of. That movement which has armored me with a wealth of knowledge, experience and skills to handle and adapt to different situations. Lots of movement in ones career can sometimes seem negative, especially with potential employers looking to hire, however I feel if the reasons are good and you can portray this to something positive then you definitely have a valid case.
I am now approaching 10 years at my current employer, and my main reason for still being here is that no 2 consecutive days are ever the same here. I have the opportunity to play in so many different areas, from Leadership to manual testing- from databases to Automation, from inspiring others to given opportunities to represent the company at a global level. I am grateful for all of this which has now taken me to a point in my career where my learning and experiences can be shared to the world and young graduates starting out their testing career. At the same time plying my trade and growing even further in the Testing and Automation space.
Sky’s the limit!