Welcome to a Q&A session with our Test Automation Engineer, Antti!

Meet Antti Peltola, a Test Automation Engineer at Refined who joined our team in May 2022. With a background as diverse as a mathematician, a digital device tutor for senior citizens, and a testing consultant, Antti brings a unique perspective to our team.

His journey with us began after seeking a more challenging role than his previous position offered. Intrigued by the promise of Refined's cutting-edge technology and the opportunity to work on test automation – Antti found his ideal professional fit with us. 

This blog post is a peek into his journey, his goals, and why he chose the path of a tester, offering valuable insights for those interested in pursuing a similar career path!

Right now: we’re looking for a Test Automation Engineer to build scaling solutions to Refined!

Read more and apply.

13 questions and answers about working as a Test Automation Engineer at Refined by Antti

What led Antti to become a Test Automation Engineer?

1. When did you join Refined?

A: I joined Refined in May 2022. It's been almost a couple of years since I became a part of this team. I have about 5,5 years of experience in testing and test automation in total!

2. Can you share a bit about your professional journey before joining Refined?

A: Before joining Refined, I was a testing consultant from the end of 2018. I had worked with a new client for four months, but it felt too easy for me, so I started seeking new opportunities! 

A: Refined seemed more challenging with its cutting-edge technology, and it has indeed lived up to that expectation. This is my first job in test automation. Initially, I joined the previous company through their young professionals program, where they trained me as a tester, primarily in manual testing. Later, I got the chance to work on the test automation side. Before this, I was a teacher in Turku at an adult education center where I taught digital device courses to senior citizens. I graduated in 2018 as a mathematician, holding a master's degree. 

3. What was your main goal in your career path at this point and why did you become a tester in the first place?

A: My main goal was to work on test automation. I've always been interested in coding, and working on test automation seemed like a natural progression for me. It allowed me to merge my passion for coding with my skills in testing to create more efficient and effective systems.

Why join Refined as a Test Automation Engineer?

4. What got you interested in joining Refined? What things caught your attention?

A: The promise of a fast development process was what initially drew me to Refined. I was used to release cycles spanning weeks or even months, but here they mentioned the possibility of having four releases a week. However, it was emphasized that things are done thoroughly, not just released for the sake of releasing. It was also appealing to work in a software company where everyone is equal and working on the same thing, sharing successes together.

5. What has it been like to work at Refined?

A: It's been the best place I've worked so far. We recently had our annual retrospection where we celebrated our successes – and we do celebrate them big! The pressure on testers and test automation is high; everything needs to be correct on the first try. But despite the pressure, the effort put into ensuring smooth operations is immense.

6. How would you describe the company culture at Refined?

A: The spirit at the Helsinki office where I’m based is great. We come to the office a couple of times a week, have lunch together, and play some darts during breaks. We have shared rituals and times when we meet and talk about the product and other things. One of the highlights of the year is the company weeks when we all go to Sweden for a week of afters, competitions, and getting to do more creative things. There are no silos between countries; half of our team is in Sweden, and it's the same as with those who are always remote.

7. What would you say to another Test Automation Engineer considering joining Refined? Who would you recommend Refined as a workplace for? Who wouldn’t?

A: I'd recommend Refined to someone who is responsible and ready to take charge of the testing process. It's essential to be ready to understand many things and ensure that things are done correctly. Test automation has been the most challenging thing I've done, and the release pace sets high demands. I wouldn't recommend Refined to someone who expects to be told what to do. While you'll get support, you need to be able to manage your own area and be the main expert in it.

Working as a Test Automation Engineer at Refined

8. Can you share a bit about your team dynamics? How do Test Automation Engineers collaborate at Refined?

A: At Refined, we primarily work within our team working on the specific product area. Each developer works on their own ticket, and I get involved when it comes to the test column of the process. As a tester, it's my job to understand what's being pursued in each ticket and to identify all dependencies in the tasks we're working on. This can be challenging, particularly when dealing with Atlassian dependencies. We have regular discussions within the team: when a ticket comes in, I test it, and then we debate whether to fix identified issues immediately or later. I often assist developers in fixing things, and new automation tasks come to me. We handle new tasks ourselves.

A: At the office, we discuss face-to-face and go through more challenging issues in person. In Finland, this approach works well, same in Sweden. Regarding test automation, at the moment, there's another person besides me. We have a meeting every two weeks where we discuss future plans and upcoming tasks in other teams that may need assistance. As the new addition to our team, you would join this dynamic duo and make it a trio!

9. Can you talk about some of the projects you've worked on at Refined that you're particularly proud of?

A: One project that required a lot of work but was done quickly and efficiently was when Atlassian announced in the summer that forms would be available for apps like ours. They announced it would be available in September, which was a significant undertaking. Users could customize ticket forms and then use them in our app. It was an intense two months of work, but we got it packaged. It was a big testing field with a couple of developers working on it. A few weeks after everything became available, we released it.

10. Who is your team lead? What kind of leadership style does the team lead have?

A: My team lead is Ziad Alharash. He has a hands-off approach, allowing us to generate our own test cases and take ownership of our projects without the need for constant supervision. He steps in when there are deficiencies or if there's a need for personal development.

11. What does the team lead expect from their team members when it comes to self-direction and the need for work supervision?

A: As team members, we're expected to be self-directed and proactive. Our goals are clearly defined, so we have a clear direction. However, we're also given the freedom to work independently and take charge of our areas of expertise.

Looking towards the future of Test Automation at Refined

12. Where do you see Refined heading in the next few years, especially from a test automation engineer perspective?

A: In the coming years, I see Refined focusing largely on ensuring the scalability of our software. Our goal is to expand our user base, which puts pressure on us to get our non-functional requirements and performance-related aspects in order, including vital elements like load balancing and server response times. From a test automation perspective, verifying these areas is crucial. As we strive to attract larger clients and as the volume of traffic increases, we must ensure that all these aspects are in order. If they're not, we could run into difficulties!

13. What are you looking forward to the most in the near/far future?

A: I am excited about the increased responsibility that comes with these challenges. There's a lot of room for growth! While I have some experience in these areas, they're not yet my strongest skills. There's an opportunity here to improve my knowledge in this area and to create automation around these aspects. I'm also hopeful that we'll bring on a new team member, which will help alleviate the pressures of day-to-day work.

A: In conclusion, the future at Refined looks bright and full of opportunities for growth and development. As a test automation engineer, I look forward to tackling new challenges, honing my skills, and contributing to the evolution of our software.

Right now: we’re looking for a Test Automation Engineer to build scaling solutions to Refined!

Read more and apply.

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