Three Month Anniversary

It was the morning of Test Friday and I had just witnessed an accident at Dundas and Bloor. “This is a great sign,” I said under my breath.

Test Friday is an event at my new employer, Vena Solutions, where developers write test cases for the software. I was in charge of that Test Friday because I implemented the test framework for the web user interface (with some help!). I laid the foundation for two and half months, from proof of concept test cases all the way to pre-merge jobs and today was when everyone on the development team had to contribute.

In my first week at Vena, a list of projects was released for everyone on the development team to pick. I scanned the list not knowing what to pick. One was about web automation. During my interview, I spoke of my co-op experience in that area. I felt inspired to backup my claims. I signed my name for the project, took a deep breath and googled, “How to Write Web Automation Tests”.

Two weeks in, the project needed to pivot. The implementation did not meet the needs of the quality assurance team. A hard lesson was learned that day: don’t jump to the conclusion that is easiest for you. After careful consideration, we decided to proceed with the Robot Framework. I had no previous experience with the framework, but it satisfied the needs of the development and quality assurance teams. A new challenge began! Full of anxiety and stress, I took a deep breath and returned to Google.ca.

The set of test cases had been written. What were the next steps? Was this project going to leave the proof of concept phase? After lots of work, though, the test cases got approved! We were moving to the next stage. That led me to meeting my new “best friends”, the infrastructure team. There is only one word to describe them: “geniuses”.

Software I’d never heard of came my way: Ansible, Docker, Jenkins, Postman Collections. My head was spinning and internally I screamed for help. Remember what I said about the infrastructure team? Well, they came through, and no matter what the issue, they helped me through.

The day finally came when the first pre-merge test passed. All thirty-one test cases were automated and passed! A sun showed beside the Jenkins job and a green check mark appeared beside the pull request. And that evening, beers were consumed.

So, back to Test Friday. Vena has many perks and one is free breakfast. Since it was Test Friday, breakfast was extra delicious, with quiches, croissants, sandwiches and coffee. I sat at my desk nervously waiting for the workday to start. Will my process be clear to developers? Will they be happy with it? Those were the questions giving me butterflies in my stomach.

A $100 gift card was on the line for the team of developers that could assemble the most test cases. I went from team to team ensuring everyone was set up for success by helping with debugging, answering questions about the framework and listening to their challenges as test writers. In my short career, it was one of my most rewarding days.

It is now my three-month anniversary at Vena. I sit at my desk writing this blog with a mountain of pull requests to review. However, when I started, I wouldn’t have told you I could see a project all the way to production. With the support of the quality assurance and infrastructure teams, though, our front end now has automated test cases.

I can hardly imagine what I'll be working on at my six-month anniversary!

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