30 Lessons on Test Automation, Quality, and Leadership

We love to celebrate our amazing leaders in the Testim Community. We asked our leaders for advice they would give…

By Tristan Lombard,

We love to celebrate our amazing leaders in the Testim Community. We asked our leaders for advice they would give to others when just starting their journey in test automation. Enjoy this short list of leadership advice on scaling test automation, improving software quality, and inspiring leadership below.

On Scaling Test Automation

  • Don’t fall in love with your tests.
  • Don’t be a jerk to developers. They’re doing their best to make good software. Foster great relationships with them and they’ll help you write better code!
  • Share the goal of automation to remove assumptions and expectations of why the team is using test automation.
  • Make every test autonomous!
  • Automation is part of overall quality improvement (but not the one and only solution to solve all things quality issues), which should be used in getting help for faster feedback which in turn helps the team deliver faster.
  • Take smaller steps to build automation suites and don’t rush to get it done.
  • Automation is one of the ways to solve quality problems. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
  • Automation does not catch bugs, it just provides feedback about changes.
  • Defining and improving quality is an engineering problem that requires us to think of a holistic solution. Often bugs could have been prevented by merely collaborating with developers consistently and/or adding a monitoring alert tool, which requires less time (and cost) than adding an integration test.
  • Get devs to pair on automation code so they have visibility.
  • We can automate everything but should we? Automation does not replace manual testing; it enables better exploratory testing.
  • It’s not about lines of code and the number of tests that you can write. Quality over quantity.
  • Automation is a means and not an end to improving quality.

On Improving Software Quality

  • Understand how the product works. Read code, ask a lot of questions. Most bugs can be prevented by this.
  • The goal behind improving quality is to give faster feedback on changes made to the product so that the end-user has a better experience. Choosing the most optimized way to solve this problem could help you make the most impact!
  • Pair and build trust with developers and have a mutual exchange of ideas.
  • Always try to pass on the quality mindset to the rest of the team.
  • Be respectful and inclusive of all. Grooming better professional relationships with your co-workers results in better software quality.
  • Beautiful technical solutions are nice, but what matters more are people: feelings, alignment, buy-in. Focus on these first.

On Inspiring Leadership

  • Seek out knowledge wherever you can get it. Don’t limit yourself to your immediate environment. Connect with leaders in your field.
  • Remind yourself that they hired you because you have the skills and the mindset to get through these challenges.
  • Be fearless with your questions.
  • You do deserve a raise and you can negotiate.
  • As you learn, share your knowledge. Never assume, always seek clarity and ask questions.
  • Treat every mistake as a learning opportunity.
  • Advocate for yourself consistently. Be proud (and loud) about your achievements. You’ll be glad you did it.
  • Sometimes, the work is hard. You’re stuck. But eventually, you’ll figure it out and get through and move on to the next challenge.
  • Your work is just as important as that of any other member of your team.
  • Have more fun, travel, spend more time with family.
  • Share your knowledge with the community.

Whether you are a seasoned leader or just beginning your journey in test automation, we hope that this community recap continues to inspire your test automation, software quality, and leadership practices.

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