Friday, Mar 09 2018

Why Great Test Automation Engineers are System Thinkers

Written by

 Test Automation


If you want to be a great test automation engineer, then it would seem logical that having strong test automation skills is the way to accomplish that goal. But, there’s more to being a successful test automation engineer than technical prowess alone. In fact, being a system thinker is just as important.


So, if you are interested in becoming a top-notch test automation engineer, here is what you need to know about being a system thinker.


What are System Thinkers?

At its most basic, a system thinker is an individual who can survey the larger system to identify problems. From the perspective of test automation engineering, this includes professionals who can investigate a piece of software in its entirety as a method of locating holes in the resulting system.


System thinkers are individuals who can keep the bigger picture in mind even as they work on the smallest details. They understand how each piece fits together to create a functional whole, as well as which parts are working properly, and which are not, at any given time.


They also understand that automating particular tests may not be a suitable approach due to how the full system is constructed. Additionally, they are able to keep the return on investment (ROI) for each potential point of automation in consideration, allowing them to determine when it is financially wise to use a tool to complete the work.


Ultimately, being a system thinker means adopting the proper mindset, understanding how each part of a solution integrates to produce the final product and being able to keep it all in mind as you work.



How to Become a System Thinker

Some people have a natural inclination for monitoring the bigger picture, but others have to work to adopt the proper perspective. Part of it revolves around certain soft skills, like critical thinking and problem solving, which many test automation engineers already use on a regular basis.


However, it also involves understanding how things are connected, and that anything you do isn’t occurring in isolation of the larger system. This means applying your soft skills with a different scope, examining the implications of individual approaches based on the interconnected nature of each part.


Initially, it can be challenging to adopt a bigger picture perspective, especially if you haven’t had to use it much previously. But, by examining how your activities related to larger goals or products as a whole, you can build your skills, allowing you to become an effective system thinker.


Be prepared to have to dedicate some additional time to your work as you begin to shift your mindset. However, once you’ve practiced it for a while, it will ultimately become natural.


If you are interested in learning more about being a system thinker or are seeking a new test automation engineering opportunity, the skilled staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about our services today and see how they can benefit you and your career.