An ISTQB Certified Automation Engineer, Diana Oks is no less than a superwoman. She holds a dual degree in Physics and Materials Engineering and is a proud mother of two kids. She is a seasoned automation testing expert and is currently working with Vulcan, a leading and fast-paced startup in Tel Aviv.
The interview is taken by Kanika Vatsyayan, VP & Head Operations at BugRaptors, with having a demonstrated experience of over a decade in the QA ecosystem. In support of BugRaptors, I got a chance to have you in the interview session and pretty much excited to know about your professional experience. Before commencing our one-to-one conversation, I would like to welcome you to our platform.
Diana Oks: Thank you for having me here.
Kanika: Can you please share something about your professional experience?
Diana: One of the biggest decisions that I made was to change my work from a large corporate company to a startup. This was a leap of faith because going from working in a big company and a part of a large automation team in the QA department, I went to become one of two founding members at a startup.
Personally, it was a huge challenge after coming from maternity leave, and professionally speaking it was the push I needed to dare to change pace, while continuing to take on new and exciting technological challenges.
Kanika: Diana, What do you think about the aspect of AI in QA?
Diana: Personally, I’m all in favor of incorporating and implementing tools that will help me, as an automation engineer, to make my life easier and will help me accomplish my goals faster.
These days, there are many AI based tools, including Testim.io that my company leverages daily to deliver amazing products for our customers at Vulcan. One key part of this tool is the ability to overcome an element identification to ensure better stability of UI testing.
As engineers, we can’t and shouldn’t avoid any progress when it comes to leveraging automation tools. In UI testing, for example, while I am a fan of the open source community, there are many known issues with Selenium. If I can avoid them or reduce these issues, then that means I spend less time on it and essentially, I save time and money. I recently spoke about my experiences in choosing a lowcode solution at TestGuild and the Selenium Summit and encourage you to watch here.
Kanika: According to you, what next stage can we expect for automation in 2021?
Diana: I think we can see more tools being developed and more engagement is done to ensure these tools fit and can make our lives easier as engineers. On the other hand, we can also see that there is no single solution for all kinds of tests so the reality of putting together frameworks from different types of solutions is more common. You add modules and improvements are made – it if feels like there is way more awareness of the usage of tools and methods. Unfortunately, sometimes companies do not always understand the necessity of quality testing and investment in teams, and many times these positions are vacant or there are not enough people to cover the needed workload.
We need to continuously remind leaders that bugs that are caught before deployment and during tests cost the company less. It’s the company's interest to make sure tests coverage is done correctly. I am grateful to work at a company like Vulcan that takes pride in delivering quality products for our diverse users.
Kanika: What is your opinion on Managed QA environment or Individual Environment?
Diana: Tests should be done in different environments to ensure better testing. QA or testing environments are very common and very useful because usually it’s controlled, and most of the time these environments are created and deleted so it’s easy to reproduce bugs or simply test the desired feature.
Kanika: Any advice for testers on test data bottlenecks and challenges.
Diana: The most important action you can take is to map the challenges you are having.
Challenges that are related to lack of resources are one thing, different tests types are another thing. The best advice I can give is to map all the failures for tests and challenges for the automation engineer(s) and then sort them correctly.
Some issues you might not be able to resolve, for example, if you need more team members it might not be possible, but you can prioritize other tasks. Sarika Hogade at Thought Exchange recently shared how her teams are handling some of these challenges and encourage you to read here.
Kanika: Tips for readers, how they could potentially get started and learn more about automation in testing?
Diana: Before diving into automation, it’s important that people will read about testing from industry leaders and people using solutions. As my friend, Joe Colantonio at Test Guild always says, it’s about technique over tool. It’s a methodology before anything else, how to approach, describe, or define a product from a testing point of view. If you notice that is the reason documentation can be done even before a single test was conducted. You need to understand what is that you’re about to test and what are the requirements.
Next is the how, whether manually or via automation. If you feel automation testing is something you can relate then you can learn any language based on what is in demand, and you can start by creating your automation project at home. It can be anything, from a web app to, mobile app, and include different tests such as UI, API, stress. You can create projects and use them in interviews. I do have to say that when saying automation engineer, we still are testing, and while we do this via code, it is still the essence of our work - always testing, always learning.
Kanika: If anyone wants to connect with you on YouTube or any other channel, how can they?
Diana: Connect with me on LinkedIn to learn more about my upcoming conferences and blogs about test automation. https://www.linkedin.com/in/diana-oks-99431464/
Diana Oks: Thank you for having me here.
Kanika: So, your journey is phenomenal, and I’m hoping more testers want to be like you. Thank you for spending your valuable time with us.
Diana: It’s a pleasure talking to you. Thank You.
Kanika: And, Thank you for your participation.