I currently work in Vienna, Austria and have been in manual functional testing for almost 5 years, until last year I joined a new cross functional team as a dedicated QA and Test Automation Engineer. I’m supposed to write tests in RSpec and mock external services in order to set up system tests for our payment backend systems. My Ruby knowledge is still basic and I need a mentor to cross check my learning goals and progress. At the moment I’m learning and figuring out the automation game on my own and I’m not happy with my progress as I don’t have clear milestones. Guidance will be highly appreciated!
I am so wanting to have someone tell me I am pronouncing that name in my mind totally wrong now. So I think that firstly you are working in a regulated industry so your tool choices are going to be limited, and the tools might be really ugly looking. As with all software engineering, it’s the outcomes that matter and you will have to force yourself to love the tools, I would get the boss to put my on a paid for training module or two in Ruby or other, the free programming setups out there are very unfocused and are not good places to ask questions of the trainers that will accelerate your learning.
I guess the biggest challenge is that manual testing looks at the whole, while automation looks at interfaces, architecture, interactions and system structure very differently. It might feel like initially you are not progressing or not focused. Software mocks are not easy, I am glad I don’t work in a regulated industry that forces you to use them everywhere. But that is probably one reason it feels like you are not progressing, good external training courses should help. As will taking a break from some areas you struggle with, for a while. It has been a tough year.
Thanks Conrad, that was a relief!
You don’t have to worry about my long name, everybody calls me Heba
Heba, I think it’s a ongoing thing for many many test engineers, because our tasks as so often our own, that remaining motivated and feeling productive is actually all down to ourselves. It’s a basic human trait to slow down when things start to go badly for you, we are wired to be cautious at these times. And lockdown subconsciously makes it harder to remain motivated, which probably means you need to eat more cake. I’m not a medical person, but that means you want to do things that make you feel happy, and will help you perform better.
Another common way of coping is to count all the good things you did recently. So having small goals and celebrating them gets more important, especially as cake is probably not good for you. Doing small things that make you feel safe will lift your mood and make you more productive.
Such a considerate and valuable advice, I really needed to hear that I’ve always felt guilty about my dropping motivation. Thank you so much for being so thoughtful!