Interviewing - Question at CAST2015

So I tuned into the CAST live stream again tonight, and I caught the end of Rob Bowyer's talk titled "Why Should I Hire You?", because I am bloody awesome! Sorry I digressed there. From what I heard it sounded like a talk full of experience and insight. Again as per last night, I decided to take advantage of the CAST twitter printer and ask Rob a few questions.


I asked this question having done some interviews recently for a testing role requiring automation skills. Well, I see the same things all the time. They tend to read something like this.
Created and maintained an automation architecture for UI testing using C# along with SpecFlow, NUnit and Selenium WebDriver.
Rewrote their UI automation architecture from Selenium RC to Selenium WebDriver using the PageObject pattern as well as the Data Builder pattern.
Lets look at the first quote. BINGO! That's right, buzz word bingo, and there is at least a line there. Now I am glad to hear about the tools you are using, glad to hear they are popular tools, glad you told me what kind of testing you believe you architecture is doing. But why? Why did you create this, for what purpose? Why did you choose those tools over others? How did you maintain it, why did it need maintaining? For some listing the tools is enough, but for me, it's not.

Now the second quote, this is better, less focus on tools and languages and more focus on patterns. Patterns are transferable, so I am happy to read this. But it's still missing. Why did you rewrite it? Why did you choose those patterns, what do they offer you?

So those quotes are from my LinkedIn profile. I realised during some prep for a conference talk, that I am massively underselling my self on my CV/LinkedIn, note that I still haven't got around to updating them. But clearly, so are many many others. Hence my question to Rob. As when interviewing recently, I was reading similar and find my self, going "and what". Huh? Really? So?

I am some what interested in the tools you are using, the programming language you used, but what I am really interested in, what really makes me go, "oooooooo", is when you talk about:

  1. Why you are using automation?
  2. How it fits into your testing strategy?
  3. How you decide what to automate?
  4. How you designed your architecture, and why that way?
  5. Why that language over another?
You see, as I mentioned above, things like models and patterns, they are transferable, they can be applied to most languages, most tools. If you can demonstrate an understanding of designing a good architecture, an understand or where to use automation and how you go about selecting tools, then that is value to me, that draws my attention. Given a few hours I can learn a new tool. Given a a week or so, I can get the basics of a new programming language. In both scenarios, I can google for help. But if you don't know what to google for, well then your a bit stuck.  

If you agree, have a look over your CV/LinkedIn profile, are you selling your real skills, or just listing some tools and patterns? 




1 comment:

  1. Hello Richard, would you agree that, with a CV particularly, there is the challenge to keep it compact and 'punchy' and avoid writing a novella - often enough keywords (such as the tools being used and the role performed) could be enough to get someone in the door for a face-to-face? And then the actual interview is the place where the Why's and What's should be explained awesomely.

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