How Do You Integrate Your Automation Engineers?

In my entire testing history, I’ve mostly been the only dedicated tester until that one time where I got to hire someone to mentor :tada: Whenever automation needed to be considered, I pretty much just fit it in around everything else I was doing.

I see many companies advertising for automation engineers whose role is to automate regression checks, smoke tests, end to end tests etc. I imagine that these people sit outside the team somewhat, not necessarily part of the sprint but nonetheless working on important things.

So my question is really how do you integrate automation engineers into your team? Do they have stories dedicated to automation tasks to be completed as part of the sprint? Do they have their own separate project? Or something else entirely?

Hello @heather_reid!

Up until a few years ago, Test Engineers (people who provide automation among other services) were added late in projects. The benefit of any automation was rarely realized during the project.
I was part of an effort to raise awareness of the role of Test Engineers in projects. With this effort, Test Engineers were assigned earlier in the project life cycle. In this manner, they work with the Test Lead to identify testability and automation opportunities, and advocate for Shift Left.
For the projects where I participated, the result was improved quality and automation ready as story cards completed. This helped to build a regression suite as the project progressed and that was used to assess changes over the course of the project.