Working as an Automation Team Leader in the R&D Department, I am mainly in charge of the continuous integration (CI) process and test automation implementation. CI plays a very important role in our Siemens Development System and SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework – which is a guidebook that contains almost everyone’s workflow during the product development). Furthermore, it can give continuous feedback about quality to all stakeholders and find bugs at the earliest phase of the development.
Communication and leadership skills should not be underestimated.
If you ask me what is required to do this job well, here’s my response:
Of course, you need a strong background and a deep understanding of technology. But more importantly, it is crucial to have a positive and effective communication style. Having strong leadership skills with the ability to engage and motivate your team and your partners is crucial. Why? I must communicate with almost everyone: From developers, black-box and white box testers, IT engineers to product managers. Often also with stakeholders outside my immediate circle of colleagues. These skills are becoming more and more popular within the job family of system engineers and should not be underestimated. These skills will continue to play an increasingly important role in the future as well.
Learning and growing on the job together. Every day.
A ‘typical day’ doesn’t really exist for me or my team as every day is different. We work on new challenges everyday which sometimes require more time than expected to find a solution we are all happy with. There are times when my team and I spend hours investigating a technical difficulty. To find the most suitable result, we discuss very openly, honest and on eye-level – always with our common goal in mind: the best possible automation. Facing these difficulties and challenges is hard at times, but if there is one thing for sure, it is that we would never give up.
Together as a team we have always found and will always find a solution. I would say it keeps us improving and growing a lot. Personally, it fills me with joy and excitement to see our solutions coming to life. The ones we have worked on together. As one team. And with our signatures right there.
Our continuous integration (CI) process in action.
In the picture below you can see how our CI is already used in various situations. It helps to improve a project’s efficiency and saves time since the process can almost run completely automatically – day and night.
Keep fresh and never expire – we must keep up with changes.
This might not sound new to everyone: Continuous learning, training and personal development are key to keep up with our daily work. Our team might have set up a CI process successfully, but that does not mean it can run forever on every project. I wish it was so easy! So, one of the most basic tasks is to maintain our skills and continually learn. Sometimes the existing solution or tools are not suitable for future projects – therefore we need to explore new innovative ways, test, and learn from failure to meet the requirements of the next project.
Looking back on the past years, my team and I can be proud of what we have achieved.
The following picture shows the new automation test tools we have used and created in the past years. These tools save our testers time and effort as these repeatable tasks have become fully automated. With our solutions, they can focus more on exploratory tests and make full use of their skills and innovative minds.
Sharing is caring.
Sharing our knowledge is very important. My team and I are always happy to share what we have learned and used in CI, and we also encourage other colleagues to share what they think is useful or if they have anything else to contribute. I want my team and everybody else to always be encouraged to test new things. Failing and learning from this is a big part of the development journey and leads to new opportunities.
Living in a fast-changing digital world, we must catch up with cutting-edge technologies to expand our knowledge. Therefore, we are active members in interpersonal networks to exchange with like-minded engineers from other popular companies to broaden our horizons and open new perspectives.
Are you also a like-minded? Explore our career opportunities here: www.siemens.com/careers/digitalminds