171: CI Awesomeness With Test Automation with Greg Sypolt

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In this episode, we’ll be Test Talking with Greg Sypolt about Automation, CI and DevOps. You’ll discover how to transform your new or existing automated tests in order to speed up development and reduce maintenance impact. Greg will also share some ways in which his team is working towards achieving Continuous Integration (CI) and DevOps excellence through their test automation efforts.

About Greg Sypolt

Greg Sypolt is Test Automation Architect at Gannett | USA Today Network, Fixate IO Contributor, and co-founder of Quality Element. Responsible for test automation solutions, test coverage (from unit to end-to-end), and continuous integration across all Gannett | USA Today Network products.In the last three years, he has helped change the testing approach from manual to automated testing across several products at Gannett | USA Today Network. To determine improvements and testing gaps, he conducted a face-to-face interview survey process to understand all the product development and deployment processes, testing strategies, tooling, and interactive in-house training programs.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk

  • A Test Automation architect really focuses on a few things. First thinking about the infrastructure first rather than at the end. You need to be very proactive with teams. Here we have probably 30 plus teams so like I'm always trying to constantly interview those teams to understand what tools they're using, what type of testing they're currently executing their app, try to identify testing gaps. I then I take that type of information back to my team now and I do some coding, but most of it is trying to orchestrate based on what tasks need to be completed from, we need a bill a new testing solution. We need to evaluate new testing frameworks for testing tools out in the market. But also here we are kind of blurring the lines with DevOps in a sense to where I actually align underneath the platform as a Service team. And so what that allows me is I interact really closely with our kind of DevOPs people and so I've volunteered in the sense of owning that continuous integration infrastructure and so that responsibility allows me to also when I go to teams to try to think about shifting more left and try to enable better guards in every stage of the pipeline and making sure that we also focus on how we define single path to production. And in that path where do, we have guards around it.
  • I've been recently also trying to push all of the dev teams kind of changing how we approach Planning and Development at the beginning. You're trying to come up with this kind of agile playbook for the whole team in trying to set a standard there to where we're a little bit more agile and try to think about testing at the beginning rather towards the end.
  • It really does start about changing that culture because if you talk to anybody in the testing industry it really to kind of really get on board with like making that shift to the left. It really requires the entire team to be bought into this change.
  • So you know that's one part of the change in our culture is that we talked about. And so to get that by in I found based on previous experience to current experience is having the same automation tech stack as your application tech stack allows that buy in to the developers. And so you know they're more willing to help out with like testing efforts because they're familiar with that language they don't have to jump in this and they don't know. So that really kind of changes how you approach that project. From the standards we try to kind of roll up the general standards of how you actually architect you know like for example the test structure how you organize those tests within an actual project by just putting your test with an actual application of repo. Now you're actually part of that team and developers and test automation engineers are seeing changes from the developers or developers are seeing changes from what you know test automation and upgrading from poor request. So that creates that collaboration in the sense of like someone sees something that you know like a particular test that they're like oh I didn't even think about that. It's that collaboration be it from just you know being in within the same you know application repo where you're kind of storing all your code. Having those same stature you know you can see some of the technical hurdles and stuff from either side and so it allows everybody to collaborate and I think that he's there allows us to you know kind of move forward as a team and everybody on the teams can now feel like they're owning the whole quality piece which helps us kind of move forward with that.
  • One of the things you've probably heard me talk about in the past is we do a really good job be testing framework that we roll out or anything platform to service we roll out we create these interactive workshop or the labs to where if I'm new or someone existing in the company as a developer or a new test automation engineer you can learn how to use this particular technology and then apply it to wherever you want to.
  • I think the best way if you're trying to think about test automation and DevOps– I'm not sure we're shifting in that direction but it definitely seems that you know those two worlds are kind of blend blurring together in that sense. And so I will thing I tell you is I feel like in the last two years the testing community has boomed for people with this kind coming out of weeds and speaking and writing blogs and all these like TestTalks and Conferences, Online conferences try to get out there and you know soak up be a sponge and listen to this or read this information as much as possible because there is a lot of awesome people out there today.

Connect with Greg Sypolt

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