This week, Crowdsourced Testing had the pleasure of interviewing Jesse Reynosa, Senior QA Engineer at Zappos.com. The five-year industry veteran is adept at both manual and automated testing, and has led countless testing efforts encompassing e-commerce sites, web applications, and databases. Today he shares with us his thoughts on upcoming industry trends, automated testing, and dishes out sage career advice.
You’ve been involved in e-commerce testing for over 5 years now. How have e- commerce sites evolved in this time and what trends do you see emerging?
The evolution taking place right now is the push for full feature mobile websites. Even though a lot of native apps for phones offer all or more of the features available on their corresponding websites, users still want mobile sites that are every bit as powerful as their desktop counterparts. As far as trends are concerned, there’s a lot of focus on social media, marketing, and interaction right now.
Automated testing is a big part of what you do at Zappos, but you started your career in manual testing. How did you make the transition?
The transition kind of happened out of necessity. There was a project that came up at Zappos that required some technical ability and as one of the few members on the QA team with a programming background, I was a natural choice for the project. From that point forward, I’ve worked almost exclusively on automated projects.
What sorts of testing activities do you find are best suited for automation? Does the introduction of an automated testing framework alter the development lifecycle in any way?
Regression testing is best suited for automation. This allows manual testers to devote more time and effort into testing new features under development. The addition of automation also introduces some changes to the development lifecycle. Primarily, more time is allocated during sprint planning for writing automated test cases.
Can you give us some insight into a day in the life of a Senior QA Engineer? How much of your time is split between meetings, administrative work, and actual testing activities?
I try not to spend too much time in meetings, but they still take up about 5 hours of my week on average. I also spend a few hours each week on administrative tasks, and I spend the rest of my time either writing tests or researching solutions for issues that pop up during testing or in production.
What qualities do you look for when interviewing candidates for testing roles?
Depending on the role, what I look for first and foremost most is whether or not the person I’m interviewing has the technical ability to perform the duties of the position he/she is applying for. I also look for someone who can answer the questions directly and succinctly. To an interviewer, there’s nothing worse than a long-winded answer that goes nowhere.
What advice would you give up-and-coming QA testers who are just getting their start in the industry?
Start learning how to do automation, especially in the mobile field. There is a growing demand for people who can do automation on mobile devices. The available tools are still a bit in their infancy, but if you can master one you will be in high demand.