Interviewing a Seasoned QA Industry Expert, Stephen Kilbourn

BugRaptors Tech Talks is a community of technical professionals crafted to bring IT experts of Software testing companies & QA for discussion on multiple aspects such as latest software testing trends, Test Automation, and a myriad of relatable solutions through online applications, software, and social media platforms.    

Today, we will help you know about Stephen Kilbourn, his professional experience and expertise, and his views on challenges that testers face at the workplace. We will also learn about the current trend using test automation, his interests in learning, and many other things related to the industry from Stephen.  

About Stephen Kilbourn 

Stephen Kilbourn is a Senior Quality Engineer at Element 84, a company solving wide range of challenges associated with cloud-based geospatial data processing and Earth science systems. Stephen has an experience of more than 17 years providing support for web-based applications, defining quality assurance guidelines for companies, functionality testing, and working across various test suites. 

Kanika Vatsyayan: Thank You for joining me, Stephan. Thank You for being here. Could you introduce a bit of yourself, your professional experience, and your expertise?  

Stephen Kilbourn: I started as an electrical and systems engineer working on military aircraft, making sure hardware and software integrate correctly to meet requirements. I've now been in the Quality Engineering role for about 11 years. I really focus on learning any tools or processes that help the team successfully deliver quality products.  

Kanika Vatsyayan: What do you think is the biggest challenge faced by testers today?  

Stephen Kilbourn: Even enterprise companies are shifting to agile development processes and want to enable Continuous Integration or even Continuous Deployment. This shift means testing can no longer be an isolated process in a separate testing team after a developer completes a feature. Being part of an integrated development team can sound like a tester's role is not essential. However, they can still bring value by bringing end-user perspectives or knowledge of other features that an individual developer might not have.  

Kanika Vatsyayan: According to you, what are the current trends right now in test automation?  

Stephen Kilbourn: Right now, the two biggest trends are javascript-based frameworks like Cypress and Playwright that make it easier to collaborate with developers and tools that leverage machine learning to discover when selectors change and self-heal the tests.  

Kanika Vatsyayan: What Specifically You Are Excited to Learn More About This Year?  

Stephen Kilbourn: This year, I'm really trying to spend time learning contract testing tools, like a pact that allows integration testing to occur earlier in the development cycle instead of relying on end-to-end tests to find integration problems.  

Kanika Vatsyayan: What Will Be the Most In-demand Testing Skills in 2021?  

Stephen Kilbourn: In 2021, I think you will see continued growth in automation testers asked to use tools in javascript. Javascript frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue are becoming the default choice for websites, and supporting them with automated tests written in the same language encourages collaboration between the development and testing roles.  

Kanika Vatsyayan: Any message/remarks that you would like to share with the testing community?  

Stephen Kilbourn: Don't just focus on learning a specific tool like selenium. If you focus on learning the language, you can know how the code for the feature works and how that code can be tested, during development. With that knowledge, you can write better integration and end-to-end tests.  

Kanika Vatsyayan: Alright, it was wonderful having your thoughts on such areas. Thank you very much, Stephen.    

Stephen Kilbourn: It's my pleasure. Thank you!   

Kanika Vatsyayan: Well, readers. Stephen Kilbourn is currently working as a Senior Quality Engineer at Element 84; the company is famous for Information Technology and Services in Alexandria, VA.    

You can find Stephen Kilbourn on Different Platforms:  


Twitter: @krull_etc



Kanika Vatsyayan

Kanika Vatsyayan is Vice-President – Delivery and Operations at BugRaptors who oversees all the quality control and assurance strategies for client engagements. She loves to share her knowledge with others through blogging. Being a voracious blogger, she published countless informative blogs to educate audience about automation and manual testing.


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