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Tech Talks With Gizem Saruhan

26-May-2022

Tech Talks With Gizem Saruhan

Everything From The Career Journey To Codeless Automation & Managed QA

Today, for all good reasons,  fortunately automated testing services are creating a wave in the industry. Quality assurance is one of the most important processes in the software industry as it yields  higher accuracy, better reporting capabilities, more coverage, resource efficiency, bug detection, Reusability to name a few.  

Manual testing still has its place in certain scenarios. However, there is no denial in saying that the days of doing software quality testing manually using a big team of quality testers are certainly out of the question.  

For this reason, we at BugRaptors have always acknowledged the idea of networking and communicating with people. With that notion in mind, this time Vivek Rana, Quality Assurance Team Lead, interviewed Gizem Saruhan, a Senior Software Developer In Test at Trendyol.  

Gizem Saruhan has been an Automation Testing Expert and Senior Software Developer in Test for the past two years. Before holding the position of Senior Developer, she was a QA engineer with Trendyol group.  

She specializes in various forms of testing such as Manual testing, regression testing, automation testing, API testing, mobile, and web testing, UI testing, unit testing, and much more. She is a data-oriented and realistic professional who not only has expertise in testing but also has a great knowledge of marketing and google analytics.  

Currently, she is working as a senior software developer in Test where she creates independent data environments, CI/CD pipeline, performs chaos testing, and much more. Other than this she oftentimes also shares her insights on technical and non-technical aspects through article writing or YouTube videos.  

During her interview, she shared everything about her journey and what made her step into this role. She discussed the trends in the QA industry, the innovative ways of automation, and how one can excel the same in their businesses. 

Let’s quickly step into the conversation to get deeper insights into the conversation that involved everything from QA and automation. 

  • Vivek: Did you always want to be a software tester? How did you get started? 

Gizem: Let’s start with the story. When I was in high school, I always wanted to be a computer engineer and I started my computer engineering education at the university in line with my wishes. The first day of school, Introductory Programming 101 course. The professor recommended a book at the end of the lecture and I focused on the few letters that came out of her mouth. 

“Si” 

I wrote down these two letters in my notebook. Then, when I searched for the book in bookstores and could not find it, I learned that had mentioned the programming language “C”. That was my first disappointment. I found neither my department nor my courses interesting. At the end of the first month, I called my father and said, “I want to drop out of school”. My father advised me to try for at least one semester, and I tried. I failed 5 out of 6 classes. I continued school. And at the end of the first year, I said to my father, “I’m leaving school”. My father told me that “you will see the main technical courses next year”... I did not like the education I received throughout my university life and I was not interested in software. 

I finished school. When I finished university, I never thought that I would be happy by doing this job. I could not find a job for 6 months. That was my second disappointment. 

I started my first job as a business analyst thinking I would not like writing code, it was a startup and we were working hard. Here I was so new and still so hopeless that I had delivered incomplete work many times. Again, one of those days, I felt very unsuccessful after that cried in the office toilet. That was my third disappointment. 

As two Business Analysts in the company, we were responsible for both analyzing and testing the business side. I hated testing because I did not see testing as my main responsibility. Since we had two different responsibilities, we could overlook a lot of things. One day, our managers advised us to try a way of working, where one of you is focused only on analysis and the other on tests. The test I hated to do was now my main responsibility. That was my fourth disappointment and I had many more disappointments afterward. 

I know that there are people who feel unsuccessful because they do not like their school, they cannot find a job, they do not like their job. I know there are people who are hopeless with dozens of disappointments. That’s why I told my own story first. I understand you, very well. It’s not your fault that you feel like a failure. You just have to know what you need. I would like to share you the words of my favorite Google Testing Grouplet: 

“ ...although you’ve read the books and heard the lectures, maybe you need a little more inspiration, tips, and prodding. And you need it to be in a place where when you see it, you can’t ignore it.” 

Find your own Testing Grouplet, spend time with the people who support you. Just find what you need. Not everyone’s needs are the same. Do not say you tried the same way with others and failed. Find your own way. I’m sure you’ve looked at every toy you were given as a kid. Why did you stop doing that? Keep on. Look at the events from all angles, try and fail. Once you try and find it, you won’t mind your mistakes. 

I know you are questioning yourself. Trust me, you have not failed. You just have to find your need and turn disappointments into opportunities. Why do you only look to the future and despair? Are you looking at your past? You can only find out what your next point will be by looking back. Your dots will converge, you have to believe it. 

All the things I thought were disappointing were actually my points. Yes, I’m not the CEO of Apple, but I connected my dots. From someone who graduated from a school, she hated and never thought she could be happy in this profession, became an analyst because she did not want to write code, and hates testing; I became a happy test engineer who wrote code every day. Now, thanks to my job, I am happy, I am at home, I am healthy. I am satisfied with the work I do. The work I do benefits hundreds of thousands of people and I develop with the work I do. 

  • Vivek: What has been the most influential resource for your career? 

Gizem: My friend Canberk has been the most important part of my current career. I told you, I hated writing codes but Canberk taught me starting from functions. He always trusted me and gave me a lot of courage. He trusted me when I didn't trust myself. I think it was a milestone for me and my career. For now, I know that if you trust yourself and your abilities, you'll figure everything out. 

As Robbie Williams said, “You won’t always feel confident but can always be brave so don’t minimize your own talent, don’t minimize what you can be.” 

When I learned to be brave, I started to give a couple of times to my learning process. Being slow and patient is influencing me. 

  • Vivek: In your opinion, what is the most important strength someone would need to work in your industry? 

Gizem: Do you know people who only write “software engineer” in the description of their personal Twitter or Instagram accounts? Are you one of them? Were you one of them in the past? I was one of them. 

I want to talk about the people whose only purpose in life is to become software engineers. Being a software engineer may be the most defining thing, but it shouldn’t be the only thing. 

To give you an analogy, there are two types of basketball, indoor basketball and street basketball (which is also named as streetball). In the former one, everything is bureaucratic, fouls are limited and behavior is under control, whereas in the latter one there are no rules, fouls are unlimited and one can show their feelings with the actions. Moreover, in indoor basketball, everyone’s name and number are written on their back. However, in streetball, there is a saying that: 

"Bring your game, not your name" 

During the university years, we often do not take any courses for our personal development. We usually are not interested in projects or books that have the potential to improve ourselves. Instead, we focus on our technical development and deal with projects for the upcoming job interviews. Our codes in our Github account are important for companies, but the books we read in our Goodreads account are not. Since the companies evaluate our abilities and performance from such a perspective, we think that technical experience is the only thing we lack in order to be qualified for a job, and therefore, we focus on technical tasks more and more. 

Unfortunately, when the question “How do you behave in a difficult situation?” is asked, a candidate with little technical knowledge but an excellent approach has less chance of getting a job than a candidate who has a poor approach to the question but has good technical skills. That’s why I think companies should give equal importance to personal competencies. If they were, we could devote more time to our personal development. 

Let’s forget about interviews, and assume that we got a job in such a company that has KPIs that consist entirely of technical things. In this whole cycle, the only thing that matters is the technical stuff, so we turn into someone whose only purpose in life is to be a “software engineer”. This is the usual result as expected. I have amazing engineer friends who focus only on technical development. These people can make jokes only in technical terms. 

If you’re lucky, you’ve already realized the importance of knowing yourself and that a title isn’t all that matters. If so, a negative interview result from such a company that focuses only on technical stuff should not affect you at all. Eventually, you will find a visionary company that will suit you and you will be able to act genuinely. 

“What would you recommend to us?” Why doesn’t anyone say “Improve yourself personally” in answer to this specific question even the business life is quite difficult and full of people you need to communicate well? Indeed, LeetCode, Project Euler, HackerRank, boot camps are technically very useful, but only recommending them is not enough. 

And dears, my advice to you will be different; Improve yourself mentally, work on communication, share a lot and read a lot. Never be shy of being yourself and what you do. And don't be afraid of companies that don’t hire you just because you don’t know something you can solve by typing “how to…” into Google. Remember that soft skills cannot be copied from Stackoverflow

Long story short, I think awareness is the most important strength. 

  • Vivek: Is codeless automation really the future? 

Gizem: Actually, the term "codeless" is a very old concept. I do not know why peoples start to talk about no-code, low-code, or codeless tools recently. No, it is not the future, it has been already with us. Maybe we can use the codeless tools more in the future, but it won't be all we need. We can create automation projects without code, yes but, we can't design it. We can't personalize it on behalf of our needs. 

For example, you can use Espresso's record method for Android uı tests and Selenium IDE for web tests. 

  • Vivek: What is your opinion on Managed QA environment or Individual Environment? 

Gizem: As a senior software developer in test, I love isolated QA environments! That's huge freedom for us! When we use a staging environment that usually has access to many different teams, since the data is constantly changing, automation tests running in the pipeline can often fail due to testing. This causes a lot of time loss as it requires constant data updates.  

Instead, I find it very useful to create an isolated QAQA environment and QA data from other places that only your team has access to. Of course, it is very critical at this point not to miss the changes made in the data type. I think that running all data-dependent tests in this separate environment and running data-independent tests in parallel in the pipeline in the stage environment prevents any loss at the maximum level. 

  • Vivek: What are the best upcoming conferences testers should attend or can participate? 

Gizem: I would love to suggest 2 really valuable conferences. 

https://live2test.com/ : I'll be making a workshop at this conference btw🙂 

https://testistanbul.org/ 

 

Stay tuned for more such amazing conversations coming directly to your fingertips from the experts of the industry.   

For more information on quality assurance and software testing, feel free to reach us through info@bugraptors.com  

author

Vivek Rana

Vivek Rana with rich experience of more than 8 years in the industry, Vivek Rana is a QA enthusiast working as a Team Lead at BugRaptors. Starting his journey as a system analyst, Vivek over the years has developed a strong grip on manual and automation testing services. His fun-loving approach and whole-hearted dedication make him a perfect team player. He is a highly driven expert and loves to travel to mountains escaping the city hustle and bustle whenever he longs for some leisure.

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