Increasing the Opportunities for Test Automation Experts to Develop Their Skills Is an Essential Way of Investing in Quality Assurance at RELEX

Jul 20, 2021 3 min

Testing is something we invest in widely at RELEX, as we simply value high-quality applications. We emphasize the use of test automation, and we do it in many ways. Not with a vast number of different tools, but in many situations from the beginning of software development: in unit tests, integration tests, as well as mobile device and user interface test automation. We are constantly striving to develop our team’s expertise in test automation by introducing new tools and methods.

“A wide range of multi-stage test automation is used in our teams. Here at RELEX, when you do test automation, there won’t be two identical days”, says Tomas Czarnecki, who is currently working as a QA Architect.

Tomas has been working with quality assurance and test automation for over 15 years, of which the last 1,5 years here at RELEX. At the moment, he is building a new horizontal testing and quality assurance team to develop test automation for the entire RELEX Platform.

“I was in the consulting business for many years and wanted to get a little change and see the other side of the coin, that is, generating long-term value for one company. Developing the company’s own product was the main reason that brought me here”, Tomas tells about his background.

How is test automation carried out at RELEX?

RELEX currently employs around 15 experts in test automation. Our different applications for Workforce optimization and managementSpace and assortment, and Supply chain optimization, all have their own test automation professionals. Some may have entire testing teams, or test automation professionals may be part of the development team.

“Our test automation professionals are trusted to choose the best practices, methods, and tools for each task. Their hands are not tied to certain tools that should be used throughout the company. We are constantly striving to improve and introduce new ways of working. Testing and bringing new tools into use is also known to motivate our employees”, says Tomas.

Robot Framework is a widely used tool in Finland and one of the tools used at RELEX. In fact, Robot Framework and some new components within it were just brought into play. As another tool for functional systems testing, we use Cypress.

“We still have some way to go before our testing is fully automated because our applications are in slightly different maturity stages. Still, automation is being invested in more and more”, says Tomas.

“Also, intelligent test automation interests us. In the future, AI could be used in test automation, too. This is something we will definitely think of more in the future”, says Tomas.

What is our company culture like from the perspective of a test automation expert?

“What first caught my eye in RELEX was the mission and the sustainable values of the company. The RELEX Platform works to reduce food waste by optimizing the supply chain and forecasting demand. That fascinated me”, Tomas says.

After joining, Tomas also noticed other captivating things, such as the startup-like culture.

“We aim to do things sensibly – stop stupid things is one of our core values. Employees are trusted, and it’s considered a positive thing if you bring forward your development suggestions and ideas”, Tomas says.

And isn’t that a good thing, as problem-solving and interest in finding bugs tend to be essential in a QA expert’s mindset? Tomas also emphasizes that there aren’t extensive technology requirements that every new hire should know when starting in his team. The most important thing is motivation to learn new things. RELEX provides QA experts with plenty of opportunities for training and competence development.

“We have a QA Tribe, which is a virtual forum where QA experts gather from all over the company to share information and discuss problems. As there are several experts at RELEX working on different projects, the aim is to avoid silo thinking and offer an opportunity to ask anything”, Tomas says.

Tomas’s new horizontal testing team will also be responsible for trying out new ideas, acting as an educator for the QA Tribe, organizing training, and sharing skills around the organization.