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Test Automation Specialist
So here’s the deal…
We’re not a regular tech company, we’re a “cool” tech company and we do things our way. You may be accustomed to tech companies that work with their “heads down” and give you a small piece of the big picture to “own” but at Northlake Partners (NLP) working as a team and taking ownership are in our DNA – or rather, in our core values (they’re literally two of our four core values). So to us, being collaborative, supporting each other and helping each other out is more important than throwing on some headphones, keeping to yourself and grinding out your work all alone – although to be fully transparent, that does happen from time to time. To us, “owning” a small piece of the big picture doesn’t really allow you to take ownership if you don’t have the big picture to see where your piece fits in and how it can be improved. So instead, we want everyone to know where we’re going, why we’re going there and own their part in making it happen. We are a remote company but that doesn’t stop us from being engaged with one another and working as a team. If you believe people should be enriched at work and you love to serve people, you’re our kind of people – so keep reading!
Consider yourself warned…
This job is going to be hard. We’re a small company experiencing some major growth, which means a lot of opportunity for growth for you (yay!) but it also means we may experience some growing pains, so you need to be committed to the cause and believe what we believe (re: last sentence in section above). The team members that tend to be most successful here are the ones that enjoy being in the trenches and fighting their way out, facing problems head on and figuring out the best solution. The most successful team members are the ones who are vocal and unafraid to speak up when they have an idea or opinion but are humble enough to recognize when someone else’s idea or opinion is better and will commit themselves to following through with the best idea no matter who or where it came from. They’re the “doers” that are driven, self-motivated, resourceful, curious, constantly seeking new knowledge and want to succeed and grow. But that’s not all! They’re also the ones who play well with others and are communicative, dependable, honest and perceptive of others.
No day will be the same and sometimes we don’t even know how to write these dang job descriptions because our “jobs” change daily. But, don’t worry, you’ll know what will be expected of you. In fact, you can know right now if you keep reading!
What we’ll expect of you…
A Day in the Life of a Test Automation Specialist
At NLP, “We work as a team” isn’t just a core value we plastered on our website because we thought it’d look good, it’s a value that we live and breathe. As such, you will be working closely with other team members on the Development and QA teams along with the Development Manager and directly with the owners of the company. We all maintain open communication with what we are working on and any potential struggles we are facing. As a team, we’re all expected to carry our own load, but nobody is above or below asking for or providing help. With all this in mind, how exactly will you be spending your days? Well, there are some things you’ll do most of the time (AKA: usually) and other things you’ll only do some of the time (AKA: sometimes).
To Start With
This position is a special one. We have a need for someone to hit the ground running (okay that’s not entirely special). The special part is being responsible for building our test automation platform from scratch. Yup, that’s right – we want you to implement and plan out our future of test automation. This will include:
- Building out a structure for our ongoing success in test automation
- Picking the correct test automation tool for our use cases
- Presenting the plan and tool to stakeholders and ensuring viability and scalability
- Planning the rollout of the test automation system-wide
Every item listed below is something you can usually expect your day to entail. We say usually because no day is like the last and no day will be like the next. Each day has similarities, but none are exactly the same.
- Peer Review
- Nearly everything we do at NLP is reviewed by a peer or supervisor. As such, you will be required to review any peer work when it comes to their involvement in automation testing.
- Everything that you do here is somehow tied to Jira. At the very least, you’ll record your time in Jira. All testing tasks including self-assigned tasks will need to be an item in Jira for keeping track of workload and time.
- Daily Standup Meetings
- Each day there is a standing meeting for both the Dev and QA teams held at 7:30am PST. The purpose of this meeting is for everyone to share what they are working on. This is helpful in a variety of ways: 1. If someone is struggling with something or just unfamiliar with it in general, someone else may have the ability to provide help or guidance. 2. If someone is working on a similar area as someone else, they may be able to provide insight to each other on code changes to make sure we aren’t heading for a merge conflict. 3. We can all keep track of each release to make sure we are going to have a quality release on time, as a team.
- Testing Automation
- You will be expected to hit pre-determined and agreed upon targets. These targets may be specific pages, sections of the software, or feature sets.
Every item listed below is something you can sometimes expect your day to entail. We say sometimes because these are things that come up from time to time but are few and far between. We don’t expect people to be perfect in everything listed below, but we do expect a willingness to take them on.
- Customer Support Assistance
- While you likely won’t have direct interaction with customers, sometimes we will need you to attempt to replicate an issue found by a customer.
- Suggestions on Development
- We develop our software primarily with the intention of providing the best software for our customers. This can, on occasion, make it difficult to test which can cause quality issues that lead to not being the best for our customers. We expect everyone to play the part of providing suggestions to make our software better and we need you to provide suggestions that will make testing processes easier when it comes to how we develop our software.
- Suggestions on Processes and Procedures
- We all work as a team (have we mentioned that?) so we all have input on processes and procedures. If you find yourself doing something that can be done with less effort or more efficiently, then bring it up! We have created all our processes and procedures by input from team members.
Key Responsibility Areas (KRAs)
Based on the day in the life documented above, there are a handful of things that would be expected of you if you were to accept this challenging role. Remember, these would be your KEY responsibility areas and not your ONLY responsibility areas (If they were your ONLY responsibility areas, they would be called ORAs, which would confuse everyone). We say this because here at NLP we live by our core values and one of those is “We exceed expectations,” and can you really do that if you only focus on the things expected of you? Anyways, after that long explanation, here they are:
- Own the testing automation framework including the maintenance of it.
- Document test cases within our testing environment to ensure complete and accurate automation tests.
- Keep up with NorthScope releases to ensure that automated tests improve quality with each release.
- Regular progress of backlog test cases and automations based upon pre-determined and agreed upon targets.
- Reviewing peer developed test automations.
In addition to the KRAs listed above, we have a few non-negotiable traits, skills, etc. that we’re looking for and also not looking for.
- Minimum 2 years’ experience in testing software.
- Experience implementing a Test Automation Framework or heavily involved in maintaining one with complex software (eg: ERP, Accounting, Inventory).
- Experience in automating a case management system and a track record in designing and maintaining a test automation framework and a large set of automated tests.
- Recruiters need not apply, direct applicants only.
Who You Are
You know what is required from the KRAs and Non-Negotiables, but this will tell you WHO we are looking for and if it sounds like you. Our ideal candidate:
- Has experience with more than one test automation platform and can utilize that knowledge to research and recommend the best system for us to adopt. This decision needs to be made by weighing the different types and quantity of “valuable” test cases we need against the features of various test automation platforms.
- Understands how to structure and prioritize the most “valuable” test automation cases. You can identify what should be automated vs. what should be left for manual testing and you can identify the priority of what should be automated. For example, if in our application there are 5,000 automated test cases possible, what are the first 500 we should do.
- Understands and supports our goal for test automation. Our goal is to automate as much of the manual testing that is needed, by prioritizing new transactions, pages, and features by the effort required to manually test vs. configure them for test automation using the adopted tool(s).
- Enjoys implementing automated test cases and would be happy spending 70%-80% of your time creating the test automation scripts identified above.
- Is the kind of person that looks at the big picture and you don’t just focus on a single task but ensures scalability.
- Has experience and the desire to lead.
- Has excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to establish working relationships with individuals at varying levels within the organization.
- Demonstrates effective listening, communication, interaction, discretion, and diplomacy skills.
- Possesses effective verbal and written communication skills to interact with business and technical resources.
- Performs well in high-energy, dynamic, and team-oriented environments.
What you can expect of us…
Our mission is to build better software so you can build a better business and the “you” refers to both our customers and our team members.
For our customers, this means that as a team we provide ERP software (it’s called NorthScope) and step-by-step guidance, giving them the tools to build the business they’ve always wanted. We take away their pain points by listening to their problems and coming up with the best, most efficient, long-term solutions. Our mission isn’t to simply snag the next deal, it’s to help our customers succeed and to be the best vendor they work with. We always exceed their expectations while providing them the best software solutions that make them more efficient.
As a company, we don’t hire “employees,” we hire team members that think and act like independent business owners. We invest in this mindset by providing training, tools and the opportunity for growth and success. We empower team members and expect everyone to have a voice, even if what they have to say is outside the “parameters” of their job title. We believe the best way to grow our company is to simultaneously grow each team member’s individual “business,” making this a dynamic place to work.
And each day, we live out our mission through our core values:
- We work as a team: Our job titles aren’t there to keep us in “lanes” but to highlight the individual skillsets that make up our team. We’re a team working towards the same goal, so we win together or lose together. Everyone’s contribution is vital, so we don’t let the team down or expect others to pick up our slack. When someone’s struggling, we help them and don’t worry about who gets the credit. We don’t tolerate anything that damages our team including poor work results, gossip and negativity.
- We serve our customers: We exist to make our customers’ lives better and this starts with building great software. Our software is the tool our customers spend their entire workday using, so making this better directly impacts their ability to perform their jobs happily, successfully, and efficiently. However, we don’t stop at software. If it’s within our ability, we do whatever is necessary to serve our customers and make their lives better.
- We take ownership: This isn’t just a “J-O-B” – we all work like we own the place. As owners, we’re not just focused on what we deliver but on how we conduct ourselves, the level of personal accountability, and how we represent the company. We’re here to serve our customers, contribute to the team, and exceed expectations, not simply to occupy a seat. This means we take pride in our work and hold ourselves accountable so we’re here when scheduled, we don’t miss deadlines, and we’re always looking for ways to improve.
- We exceed expectations: Everything we do matters to someone so we always aim for excellence, no matter how small or insignificant a task may seem. Our work is high quality and delivered correctly, the first time. We constantly challenge ourselves and other team members to improve and become better versions of ourselves. Our team members are honest, ethical and of high character and we honor commitments and treat others with respect.
Oh, you can also expect us to provide competitive pay, generous PTO, paid holidays, 40-hour weeks, a challenging workplace, medical, dental and vision, short-term and long-term disability, 401k with employer match, profit sharing and opportunities for growth.
Test Automation Specialist
In order to be considered for a position at The Northlake Partners, all applicants must complete the following questionnaire, along with their resume and cover letter.
Please note that while your resume is important, you will be evaluated on the answers you submit below and these answers will determine whether or not we look at your resume.