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Making the leap from Developer to Test Automation Specialist

My career journey from developing software to building test automation.

Eemi Närhi / November 01, 2021

Before my TietoEVRY journey had started, I had worked as a junior software developer in a different medium-sized domestic company for a few years. I was mostly practicing, trying to learn everything from frontend development to software architecture but I never really wanted to focus only on programming. I wanted to learn about other practices in software development.

Test automation was an unknown subject to me at that time and it was not a big topic in the networks I was in. The only encounter I had with test automation was a demo at my university about Robot Framework which I felt was interesting.

Eventually my days as a software developer came to an end and my journey started in TietoEVRY, the biggest IT service provider in the Nordics. In 2018, I joined the company as a summer trainee focusing on test automation. At that time, I was studying business information technology at Laurea University of Applied Sciences, and I was quite close to graduating with a bachelor’s degree.

Jump into the deep end

Soon after I joined TietoEVRY, I started working in the renewal of a nationwide pension payment system. It was a big project which was done in a global delivery model in which more than 70 people participated. It felt exciting to be placed straight into the action in a real project. My main focus was on developing test automation solutions in a team of talented test automation and DevOps experts. In the beginning I was a little worried whether I would be able to build good quality Robot Framework testing for a complex system with no professional experience under my belt. However, my concern was swept away because developing test automation with Robot Framework proved to be quite easy to learn.

In late 2018, I switched to part-time working when I had several university courses to complete. The possibility to combine the early stages of my professional career and my university studies is an excellent example of the flexibility we can have in our careers at TietoEVRY. I could also choose to work from home when I felt the need to do so even before the pandemic started and remote working became common. The flexibility helped me in finishing my bachelor’s thesis and eventually graduating in 2019.

All in all, I built hundreds of automated test cases for the pension payment system. Most of them were made for testing the system’s microservices REST APIs, but I also created some for the system’s user interfaces as well. The practice our team had was to prioritize building test automation for the APIs, because those tests are easier and faster to create and more robust than brittle UI tests.

I value the experience I have from being a developer because it put me in a better position to understand some technical things about the system, like how REST APIs behave. Speaking of technical things, it probably would have been much harder for me to understand how Git version control was used in the project to store test automation resources if I hadn’t used version control systems in my previous role.

The pension payment renewal is still the largest project I have participated in. Practicing new tools and learning to use them is always important, but for me the significant professional growth and lessons come from the projects. I’m very grateful for getting to collaborate and grow with all the amazing people there. All the experiences, challenges, and successes from working on such a complex and critical system are priceless to me. It was truly a perfect opportunity to grow!

Continuous improvement brings me continuous happiness

My goal for 2021 has been to start learning how test automation solutions can be built in continuous delivery tools. I got a great opportunity to start achieving that goal when I joined our low-code team in the spring of 2021. I started looking into how test automation solutions can be built on a commercial low-code platform called OutSystems. It is a visual platform that accelerates the development and delivery of applications with AI-assisted tools. Application development is done with a graphical user interface instead of traditional programming.

Regarding testing, automated unit tests can be built conveniently with the same visual workflow. This is provided by BDD Framework, which is a testing framework for OutSystems applications that encourages test- and behavior-driven development. Once I had finished creating a few tests the workflow seemed clear to me.

Since I was curious about what test automation frameworks could be used for automated UI testing of OutSystems applications and given that I had plenty of experience with Robot Framework, I went ahead and did some experimenting. I was able to build automated tests for an OutSystems web application with Robot Framework’s Browser Library. Once that was done, I integrated the Robot Framework testing to Azure DevOps. I had certified myself in Azure cloud platform which helped me along the way. What motivated me greatly was the fact that TietoEVRY supports and encourages people in learning new technologies and achieving certifications which is useful in real projects.

As I’m focusing on test automation, to me one of the strengths of OutSystems is that they provide a nice way to integrate continuous delivery tools with the OutSystems platform. That integration is critical since Azure DevOps is the place where the test automation is running in the shape of a CD pipeline. This pipeline is used as a quality gate for deploying our applications safely to production. I could talk more about our OutSystems continuous delivery pipeline, but perhaps I will share more of that topic in another blog.

 

Ella Viitasuo is scoring goals both on the ice rink and at TietoEVRY as a Test Automation Specialist. Read her career story!

 

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Eemi Närhi
Test Automation Specialist

Eemi is a test automation expert in TietoEVRY’s Custom Software Development Finland unit. He has experience in delivering test automation solutions in Agile software development. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business information technology.

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Eemi Närhi

Test Automation Specialist

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