June 9, 2020

The next step in my automation development journey

Although I received my offer letter back on June 3rd, for a Software Test Engineer position at Verily (formerly Google Life Science) it was still thrilling to see in my Inbox:

"Welcome to Google: Hi Thomas Maher, We're so excited for you to join us at Google/ Alphabet".
"Email: Onboarding at Google"
My automation journey started, as I mentioned a few years ago, when I was I picked up the book "How Google Tests Software (2012)".

The premise of the book was that quality wasn't some other department's responsibility... it was the software development's job. "Quality is a Development Issue, not a testing issue". It talked about having a Software Developer in Test who could:
  • Go through the same questioning and examiniation process a traditional QA Engineer would go through
  • Be able to correct code that could be improved, such as having functions that are given vague names.
  • Be able to refactor code that isn't testable
  • Try to focus on 100% test coverage, coming up with an automation plan
  • Look at poorly written APIs and rewrite them
  • Be able to code with fluency in C++, Java, Python, and JavaScript
With the Test Engineer, this was someone who:
  • Is more of a "user-developer" where they try to keep the end user of the product in mind.
  • They don't code as as much as the Software Developer in Test, but they need some fluency.
  • They implement the automation plan and write the test scripts.
When I started this blog back in January 2015, I wrote in an article,

"After reading this book, and seeing it mentioned more and more in the tech blogs, I was quite worried. What if this catches on? All of my experience would be obsolete. The following year, I made sure to gain exposure to the automated testing world at my company".
Five years later, I (somehow) managed to land a position at a Google/Alphabet company. Wish me luck! I start June 15th.

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test
Meetup Organizer, Ministry of Testing - Boston

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