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November 7, 2016

Know your TestBash Speakers: Angie Jones

This series of blog posts is an attempt to introduce you to some of the TestBash Philadelphia 2016 speakers and ask them few questions related to the talk/work. Our previous speakers interviews can be read here: Alan Page, Maaret Pyhäjärvi, Dan Ashby and Stephen Janaway and Nancy Kelln.

Today, we introduce you to Angie Jones. For those who have not heard of Angie, here is a brief introduction about her from the speakers page at TestBash Philadelphia 2016.

Angie Jones is a Consulting Automation Engineer at LexisNexis. Angie advises several scrum teams on QA Automation strategies and best practices and has developed automation frameworks for countless software products. Angie is known for her innovative and out-of-the-box thinking style which has resulted in more than 20 patented inventions in the US and China. Angie is also an Adjunct Instructor of Computer Programming at Durham Technical Community College. Angie is a strong advocate for diversity in Technology and volunteers with organizations who champion this cause such as TechGirlz and Black Girls Code. She can be found on Twitter at @techgirl1908.

Her session is titled: How to Get Automation Included in Your Definition of Done

Sahi Pro: How do you use automation to assist testing activities?

Angie Jones: As quality initiatives are shifting left, long extensive regression testing periods are a thing of the past. I automate scenarios so that not only are they covered during scheduled regression testing windows, but they are also run on a continuous basis - every time there is a development change in the code. This frees testers up to focus on new tests, exploration, and more complex user journeys. It also gives developers fast feedback about the state of the system after the deployment of their changes.

Sahi Pro: What kind of problems do you face trying to automate the regression tests in organizations?

Angie Jones: The biggest challenge is probably not the coding itself, but educating and convincing others of what the purpose of automation is. It’s very typical for managers and executives to want to automate everything. I don’t feel this is the right approach. One reason is because the return on investment (ROI) is not always great enough to warrant automation of every single scenario. A lot of times, businesses get caught up on numbers instead of focusing on ensuring their teams are automating the right things.

Sahi Pro: What is your first question to anyone who wants to use automation in their organization?

Angie Jones: Who will lead your automation strategy? This is so very critical, as it often determines whether an automation effort will succeed or fail.

Sometimes managers or executives try to lay the entire strategy out themselves with a very basic high-level understanding of automation. They then hire people to implement their flawed strategy, ultimately resulting in a flawed solution that is destined to fail.
Fortunately, I have only encountered a few organizations like that. But many managers, still try to work with what they have, so they entrust a developer or a tester to lead the automation strategy. This also is not ideal, as the developer may lack the testing mindset and in-depth knowledge of practical automation practices; and the tester may lack the technical skills to be able to architect a sustainable automation solution.
I encourage organizations to invest in an automation engineer – someone who is a hybrid of developer and tester and who has experience in building automation solutions. Sometimes, an org lucks up and has a manager, developer, or tester who either used to be an automation engineer, or currently studies the craft very closely. In cases like those, these people can definitely be successful in leading the strategy.

Thank you for your time, Angie Jones. We appreciate your contribution to the software community and best wishes to you and the conference.

Hope everyone has a good time, listening to Angie speak on "How to Get Automation Included in Your Definition of Done" session. Do tweet and blog about the conference and share the learning with the software community.

About Sahi Pro:

We  are one of the micro sponsors of TestBash Philadelphia 2016.

Sahi Pro, the flagship product of Tyto Software, is a simple yet powerful test automation tool that enables Quality Assurance and Testing teams achieve high efficiency and productivity in their test automation process. Features like multi browser support, good recorder, automatic waits, inbuilt frameworks, and automatic reporting reduce the team’s effort and technical expertise required, ensuring faster delivery cycles, especially in Agile environments. Over 400 enterprise customers across diverse industry verticals like Banking and Financial Services, Healthcare, IT Services, IT Products, Retail, Media & Entertainment, Telecom and Government are achieving high ROI with Sahi Pro.

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