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Tech Talks With Simon Prior: Discussing Good Testing, Codeless Automation, and More

16-Sep-2021

Tech Talks With Simon Prior: Discussing Good Testing, Codeless Automation, and More

A few years back, Quality Assurance and Software Testing was an exclusive practice. But the advancement in technology and a more informed audience have made QA a norm for technology brands. Right from the healthcare industry to the most complex banking operations, QA and software testing has turned to be a significant part of the Development Lifecycle with the expansion of different industries.    

Moreover, the ever-increasing demand for a seamless experience and well-defined applications has made DevOps teams seek the shelter of QA in meeting such goals. Since BugRaptors is a QA brand that has always worked to foster digital transformations through dynamic and extensive testing, we believe it is equally necessary for the tester community to work on interactions that can help upgrade the existing standards of the QA practices.  

With this objective in mind, our in-house expert and Vice President, Quality Assurance, Sandeep Vashisht, interviewed Simon Prior, a highly motivated software testing professional with an industry experience of more than 17 years. Over the course of time, he has served various roles understanding the dynamics of multi-platform development, being a scrum master, Software QA Engineer, and QA Manager responsible for handling operations at Project and Programme level. He is also an expert in Perl and Python, giving him a better grip of QA Operations that are planned in synchronization with DevOps.  

Simon has a huge interest in exploring testing strategies and tactics that could help achieve tech products with the Highest Quality. Besides, he is a coach and mentor for his team who keeps on sharing insights for tools and skills that are necessary to enhance job quality and resource capabilities.   

Apart from this, Simon is very active in the wider testing community. He co-hosts the Testing Peers podcast with 3 other Test Leaders (check out https://testingpeers.com or @testingpeers on social media) he is also the co-organizer of the Ministry of Testing – Buckinghamshire Meetup (@MOTBucks on twitter), where QA professionals and other tech enthusiasts with interest in software testing tend to participate. Simon is also a STEM Ambassador who is frequently involved in IT Careers Talks, guiding students who need to break into STEM careers.     
   
With all that experience and proficiency, we believe it was necessary to have an interactive session with Simon. And without taking much time, let us quickly jump on the conversation between our experts.  

Sandeep Vashisht: Did you always want to be a software tester?  

Simon Prior: No, when I left university, I wanted to go into Computer Forensics. I specifically didn’t want to be a Developer as I didn’t feel I was a good enough coder. Ironically, I ended up joining a cybersecurity company as a graduate developer. Then 3 years later, falling into testing and realized I had found my passion.  

Sandeep Vashisht: What’s one thing about your job that almost no one agrees with you about?  

Simon Prior: The importance of Good Testing. So many companies see testing as a Tick-box or pass/fail activity that the real value of exploring software and raising the bar of Quality is lost. Building the culture around Quality and ensuring everyone is on the journey is so important. Get that right and the testing will fall into place.  

Sandeep Vashisht: Is codeless automation really the future?  

Simon Prior: Erm, no, not in my eyes . It should be about finding the right solution for Automation in Testing. It isn’t just about automating test scenarios, it has to be about automating the right activities to enable the right testing. Automation should be used to compliment the Human investigative testing, not replace it. Codeless automation is a term to try and get more people writing tests, but the tests are only as good as the human who writes them regardless of whether they are writing code or not. Whatever the automation solution, it needs to be considered as part of the bigger picture of the right test approach, it should not be the test approach alone.  

Sandeep Vashisht: What is the best way to increase the visibility of your test automation?  

Simon Prior: By not making it a “testers only” activity. It should be a collaborative thing to ensure that everyone is invested in it.  

Sandeep Vashisht: What are the keys to building a great team?  

Simon Prior: Igniting the passion in the team but engaging them early and sharing ideas with them. Supporting them on the right path for their development, not just telling them that the only way to progress is to become more Technical. Enabling them to use their curiosity to explore the products and allow them to fail to enhance their learning.  

Sandeep Vashisht: What’s your main piece of advice for testers in 2022?  

Simon Prior: 100% Test Automation should never be your goal, use Automation as a tool within your testing toolbox, don’t make it your whole toolbox.  

Sandeep Vashisht: If you had to write a book tomorrow, what would you write about?  

Simon Prior: About the importance of growing the right culture for good testing. Sharing the ownership of Quality and ensuring that everyone understand the value of a Quality first approach.  

We hope this session have helped you explore some of the best advice and information to cater to your software testing objectives. Meanwhile, if you have any additional questions for Simon, you can reach him through LinkedIn.   

In case you need some professional assistance on your upcoming project, then you can simply reach our experts at BugRaptors, as we promise you proficiency and knowledge on handling QA challenges associated with any industry vertical.   

For more information, reach us through info@bugraptors.com   

For more interesting Tech Talks Updates, Stay connected!  

author

Sandeep Vashisth

Sandeep Vashisth is the Vice-President – Quality Assurance at BugRaptors. With experience of more than 14 years, Sandeep specializes in delivering mobile, web, content management, and eCommerce solutions. He holds a strategic QA vision and has the ability to inspire and mentor quality assurance. He is an expert with a grip on project plan development, test strategy development, test plan development, test case, & test data review.

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