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Tester – an important link of a project team

Maciej Nosowski, Test & Analysis Engineer has been working in Sii Lublin branch since October 2017 as a tester in the Internal IT Department. The team develops and tests over a dozen applications that are used by over 4,000 people across the company. For many of them, the application tested by Maciej is a crucial and primary tool in everyday work.

Do you remember anything particular that pleasantly surprised you during these 2 years spent in Sii Poland?

Maciej Nosowski, Test & Analysis Engineer: At the beginning I had to learn a lot and switch to a completely new mode of work. First of all, I had to get familiar with CRM system, the one we call “SiiRM”, and the principles of testing as part of the team. My task was to get to know and understand business processes relevant to sales, recruitment, HR and marketing, as all these areas are supported by the application I am dealing with. Interestingly, the amount of knowledge to gather as well as learning opportunities do not decrease over time. It was great that almost from my very first day, I was learning through practice – I got specific tasks to test and as a result I could get to know the system “tangibly”.

The team’s openness and support was also a shocker – from the very beginning my colleagues would support me with advice and helped me get deeper into SiiRM’s secrets. Quick integration with others is also a great advantage, owing to huge commitment of the HR team.

What does the team’s support work look like?

M.N.: The SiiRM team consists of 19 people. 17 people work in Lublin on a daily basis, one works remotely, and our Team Leader is in Warsaw. This is a full development team of people spending time together in the office, which reflects upon close cooperation. We are Agile and we adapt to various situations on the go, therefore no one finds it troublesome if they have to help someone else in their task, because priorities changed. In addition, we are all human, each of us can sometimes have a bad day, and yet I know that thanks to them when I leave work, it will be with a smile. This is a priceless feeling.

Before, I’ve never felt pride telling others where I work. And now I can say that. First of all, it’s about approach to employees. I feel someone cares about me here. By “someone”, I mean all the people I work with. As a team, we have common goals, we always work on them together and no one is left alone. Especially after completing more difficult tasks, you can feel that cool, joint satisfaction and power of a tight-knit team. In all this, I also feel that I have the opportunity to develop and learn new technologies – both at work and during additional substantive meetings. Not without significance is the fact that Sii is a recognizable brand and outsiders often inquire with curiosity about my work and how the company clicks.

What are you working on now?

M.N.: My main task is to test changes and improvements introduced in Microsoft Dynamics 365 (i.e. our SiiRM). Because the system is strongly adapted to Sii processes and requirements, each change should be tested very carefully. In fact, SiiRM supports all processes in Sii – from recruitment to sales, HR and marketing. We respond to business needs and numerous changes on a regular basis. As I test these changes, I have the opportunity to learn more about the processes mentioned earlier. Recently, we have had a very interesting project – system upgrade to the latest version. This is always a demanding task – you need to check that the entire system is working properly after the upgrade.

I am usually responsible for tasks related to Recruitment and HR. For me, this is the most interesting area for testing within SiiRM, because it also binds to other fields: sales (offering candidates to our clients) or marketing (applications that candidates send to us via website or through a recommendation system). What is more, I often work with testers and developers from other Internal IT teams.  During cross-system tasks I have the opportunity to participate in business tests. In addition to testing, sometimes I participate in analyses of changes to be introduced in the future. Also, because we work in Scrum methodology, each team member participates in recurring meetings. Besides all that, I have recently started delving into automatic tests. This is a very interesting and prospective area in tester’s work. Generally, there are plenty of interesting tasks every single day. I would not exaggerate if I said I am constantly learning something new, which is very motivating for me – there is no place for boredom, and we all know the routine is the worst thing that can happen.

I should also note that tester’s work is not only about “clicking” in the system. First you need to prepare yourself carefully – familiarize yourself with the requirements and the way the changes have been made. You need to prepare test cases and scenarios, configure the environment accordingly. Often, errors are spotted at the preparation stage. The error reporting process is also important, as it can take time in a complicated case.

You mentioned that you are still learning. Do you know what will be the next stage?

M.N.: Currently, I am facing the prospect of test automation, which is slowly beginning to take place. I have been getting acquainted with the subject of automation for some time on my own, and recently I have had the opportunity to use this knowledge in my line of work. At the moment, the most important thing for me is learning automation and programming languages. I have such an opportunity in Sii, hence I know I will not lack motivation and job satisfaction.

September 9 is Tester’s Day – a tester’s celebration. What is the most important thing you can say about this position?

M.N.: I think the role of the tester is extremely crucial in the software development process, although some will say that testers are only picking on things. The quality, and ultimately the satisfaction of end users depends on how thoroughly the application, system or product is tested.

A good tester must be inquisitive and consistent, sometimes to the extreme. If someone does not like to “drill” and is not interested in how it works, what they “play” with, they should rater not become a tester. You see, being a tester is a little bit of “child’s play”: the more a tester “spoils” his toy, the more he enjoys it.  Apart from consistency, a tester also needs to apply diplomacy in relations with others. Sometimes you need to talk through a given case with a developer several times, while maintaining peace of mind and professionalism.

That’s right: developers! Tester’s relationships with programmers largely depend on him. There is a reason why some programmers call us “spoilers”. A tester’s main task is to find errors and report them to the appropriate person. It is natural that no one is happy when somebody else points their mistakes. Therefore, it is very important how the error is reported. The programmer should easily read what the error is, how and where to reproduce it, and what is the cause (if we know it), and get by without the impression that we criticize his work. Personally, I’ve never had any problem working with programmers.

My friends often ask me if it’s difficult to be a tester. I answer that if you like to cling to details and you are not afraid to express your own opinion, and then you can defend it, then being a tester is not difficult. Coming from me – I highly recommend it!

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