Junior Test Automation engineer looking for a Mentor, preferably Ruby language

Hello Everyone,

I posted here months ago asking for a mentor, well I’m still asking :slight_smile::wink: … Except that today I have a clearer understanding of my problem:

I landed my first job in test automation almost 2 years ago. Since then, I’m faced with advanced test automation challenges in my team and I’m feeling stuck. I need an Accountability Mentor/Critical Friend who can guide me through a fast and effective learning path.

1- For now, my path is Test Automation with Ruby, and I need mentorship in this area. I believe I spent the 2 years overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge I want to have to do my basic tasks. I also I had no clear job description, expectations, or plan. So I spent the 2 years navigating that, planning, trying and failing. Now my current situation is this:

    • I only work with Backend services, no frontend, no mobile. So apparently none of the popular frameworks like Selenium are for me.
    • I’m not able to understand the unit tests (written in RSpec) that we currently have, so not able to evaluate which integration tests:

    • a) Are needed or worth introducing

    • b)I’m actually capable of introducing.

    • I’m told I should write system tests in Cucumber with Ruby. So far I did that only once, exactly 1 year ago. Now I’m writing the second and it’s very frustrating I’m literally learning all over again.
    • I need to do a lot of mocking as our services interface with external payment services like Paypal, iTunes etc. I tried Postman, Prism, AWS Lambda etc no luck.
    • I’m still not sure if Contract Testing is something that can help or not worth the effort, I only managed to understand the concept behind Pact, but still cannot tell if it’s applicable to me.
    • Given my currently limited understanding of Ruby, and limited experience with Postman, I hardly have any good ideas for automating other testing activities like test data creation etc.

At the moment I don’t have a person who has both testing and programming knowledge to answer my questions above. So I’m basically learning on my own, asking as much as I can, taking notes of whatever is outside of my blind spot, attending MoT workshops etc, but getting lost in theory. I’m lacking a clear plan and direction.

2- If Ruby is not the way to go, what is the next best programming language that helps me up my game in Test Automation? Java? Python?

3- I’m actually looking for junior test automation jobs in other companies, so in your opinion what would a fresh start look like for me? I don’t want to be misjudged for the last 2 years, I’ve always asked for help and clearly it wasn’t enough, I’m still very lonely in this. I need a fresh start but also don’t want to go where I was 2 years ago.


Hello @heba !

I totally understand the feeling of being overwhelmed with the massive task of trying to learn everything on your own and not knowing where to start.

Have you tried asking your devs to pair with you to start writing the automation or at least to walk you through their unit tests so you learn to read them? Inside knowledge and support from your peers is something that’s absolutely invaluable and it can’t be substituted by any outsider mentorship, I think :slight_smile:

If they’re not willing, that’s not a good place to be in… I would offer myself as a mentor but I think I’m on about the same level of knowledge as you. And actually, it sounds like we’re in a pretty similar position - I’m on a backend team, most of our backend services are written in Ruby and I’m currently trying to learn RSpec with Faraday :slight_smile: I’ve got amazing support from my colleagues though.

Best luck in your endeavors!


Hey @baysha !

Thanks a lot for your answer and your consideration :blush:

Yes I ask my developers for pairing and they definitely support me when I ask for it, but I’m not sure if this is a sustainable solution especially that sometimes the Pull Requests are huge and overwhelming. I find it a little unreasonable to ask for a walk through every single time. Maybe that’s another thing I should work on :see_no_evil:
But even with that support and pairing in place, you probably are learning programming on your own and it’s paying off in a way, that’s what I want to focus on to feel less helpless :sweat_smile:
I’m glad you mentioned RSpec with Faraday, I will check if that would help me too! :blush:

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If you want to chat more, definitely ping me on MoT Slack. And if you decide you want to take a deeper look at Faraday, we could pair sometimes and struggle through it together!


Sounds like you need a second tester, but right now you are feeling that overwhelmed thing that we probably all had when we started in the job. Part of the job as a tester is to be able to manage and target your activities well when you get swamped, having a manager who supports you but also a team that support you is not easy to find. I would be asking to get another tester hired and being clear about the fact that you are overloaded, in conversations with your manager, so that they understand that long range tactical work and maintenance work are suffering as a result of poor resource planning. Be very clear about that. (Managers like to hear solutions, not problems, that also helps in those conversations.)

Hang in there buddy, there is only so much one person can do, and from the looks of it, you are already doing a lot.

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Thanks a lot @conrad.braam ! I will definitely take that into consideration :slight_smile:

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I don’t know if I’d make a good mentor, but I’m happy to help out from time to time. I did quite a bit of automation & work with Ruby in a previous role. I don’t currently do a lot with Ruby (mostly JS based tools), but I might be able to help point you in the right direction on things.


Hey @majesticjondi!

Thanks for your reply and I’m so sorry for only responding now :see_no_evil:

I already found a mentor early after sending this, so thanks a lot and wish you happy holidays! :blush:

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