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In my professional and, above all, private career, I have been able to introduce a number of young people to various topics. There was one thing that was repeated again and again, especially during training programmes in the field of sports education: The methodical path

  • from the known to the unknown,
  • from the simple to the complex,
  • etc.

After working in IT for many years, mainly as a developer, I had the opportunity to set up a small testing department from scratch at my employer before adesso. That was a very exciting and instructive time. Right from the start, I wanted to incorporate various skills from private training and further education as well as voluntary work. When I started working at adesso, I was able to build on my previous work almost seamlessly. The technicality, tooling and complexity were very similar.

What was the original training plan?

In general, there was a plan for those who focussed on technology and one for those who focussed on test management. There was a solid common basis, especially for the basics. The training programme of the ISTQB, the certification body in the field of testing, is similar. Here, everyone has to complete the basic qualification ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level before they can specialise in technology, management or team lead. This basic qualification ensures a common basic understanding of technology and test management. Further qualifications in the technical area are, for example, the Test Automation Engineer or the Technical Test Analyst. The levels at a glance:_

Level 0 - Product presentation
  • Presentation of the app
Level 1 - Basic tools
  • Introduction to Confluence
  • Introduction to Jira in a Kanban project
  • Introduction to XRay test management for Jira
Level 2 - Understanding methods
  • Agile values and principles
  • Challenges in practice
  • Agile methods
Level 3 - Understanding automation
  • CI/CD theory and practice in the current project
Level 4 - Testing in practice
  • Ad-hoc test execution with XRay for Jira
  • Review of test specifications and manual test scripts
  • Specification of tests (functional and non-functional requirements, use of data sets and parameters)
  • Grouping of tests and creation of test plans
  • Evaluation of the tests
Stage 5 - Start of a new project: web application
  • Conception of a catalogue file management from scratch
  • Preparing the handover of activities to adesso

My supervisor at the time was very supportive right from the start and gave us a free hand. Within three months, as much knowledge as possible was to be passed on to the test department, which at that time consisted of two working students and two full-time testers. The permanent testers also had other tasks, such as first level support, which had to be taken into account in the planning. After an introduction to SCRUM, the team agreed to implement the project according to SCRUM as far as possible.

Stage 5 - First steps towards the web application
  • Joint development of a product vision
  • Superficial determination of the required catalogues
  • Deepening the understanding of SCRUM

From level 6 onwards, a distinction is made between test managers and test automation specialists. I will only describe the path of the test automators here.

Stage 6 - First sprint
  • Definition of the basic architecture (Angular, Express, Docker, Artifactory)
  • Creation of an initial GUI prototype for the first three catalogues
Stage 7 - First steps in test automation
  • Introduction to Katalon Studio and Cypress
  • Development of a rudimentary CI/CD pipeline (Gitlab, Cypress)
  • Introduction to best practices at Cypress (DRY, Page Object Model, etc.)
  • API tests with Postman and automation with Newman
Level 8 - Introduction to development
  • Introduction to Git
  • Start with small accessibility tasks (WAVE, axe)

Why this order?

This sequence is certainly not a panacea for every beginner, as prior knowledge, interests and learning styles vary. Furthermore, it was not possible to use real SCRUM for various reasons. Nevertheless, it was important to convey as much of this framework as possible. The methodological approach was adhered to by moving from manual testing to automated testing to development. Manual testing focussed on the product and the team, while automated testing added the efficiency of automation. The transition to development benefited from a fundamental understanding of quality, from which development was able to benefit through initial DRY (dont repeat yourself) implementations in test automation. Getting into testing can be easier than into development, which is why the understanding of team processes in testing was first consolidated before the step into development was taken. By taking the step from manual to automated, a certain "wow effect" could be created and enthusiasm for the technology increased.

Evaluation at adesso

When I started at adesso, I was first presented with a detailed test concept for the project. In combination with the architecture concept, I felt like I was on cloud nine. There was already a high degree of automation and some technologies that were new to me. The big boost came from the tester community, which was always available and very helpful. Thanks to a SonarQube implementation in the CI/CD pipeline, a certain minimum level of quality is maintained. This also includes code coverage.

In December last year, one of the working students I had previously supervised at my old employer started. As he was already familiar with most of the tools and there were parallels to the previous project, I was able to provide him with more in-depth knowledge. He started with manual tests again and provided support with test automation in the first month. He was also able to expand his knowledge of accessibility tests. He also quickly familiarised himself with the implementation of cypress-axe. Cypress-axe is a way of automatically testing accessibility with Cypress. He will soon start optimising accessibility in the development department.

You can find more exciting topics from the world of adesso in our previous blog posts.

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Picture Tobias Kirsch

Author Tobias Kirsch

Tobias Kirsch is a Senior Software Engineer and has been with adesso since April 2023. After many years in IT, including as a developer, his passion is test automation in all its forms. He enjoys the cross-sectional tasks related to neighbouring disciplines such as test management and development.

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