09:40 - 10:25 Uhr
Hiring the Agile Testers That Fit Your Team
Nermin Caluk, XING AG
Sergej Mudruk, XING AG
The magnitude of change that agile tester role brought to the testing world, as compared to the traditional tester role, is sometimes underestimated. The easiest way to understand how the testing role transformed over time is to look at Agile Manifesto and recall how testing role looked before (in some cases it was a mirror-reflection of the Manifesto priorities). Agile testing requires much more collaboration and communication, product understanding, exploratory testing and carefully crafted approach to test automation so it fits continuous integration.
This paper provides some practical insights about hiring the agile testers that fit these new (and ever changing) agile teams, based on experience from XING AG Quality Assurance department (during 2013/2014). It provides practical recommendations not only to people who lead the interviewing and hiring process, but also an overview for the applicants who want to understand „what is happening in the background“ after they submit their application and what counts when choosing the candidates.
Even though careful tuning of the CV and motivation letter can land a job in some companies, in reality only a good fit between a person and the team makes sense. On top of fundamental technical skills and engineering knowledge, culture / values fit needs to be seriously considered. Otherwise, both tester and the team might be unhappy.
Three crucial questions that hiring process needs to address when interviewing are:
- "Can you do the job?“ (the skills and strengths),
- "Will you love the job?“ (the motivation) and
- "Can we tolerate working with you?“ (the team fit).
In pursuit of finding the good fit, we follow the hiring process from the application submission to first day at work. This paper discusses how to analyze technical skills, why discuss the motivation, how discussing the situations from past experience (or hypothetical situations) can help understand the candidate, how to be aware of cultural differences, why is it important to understand how candidates learn new concepts etc. On the process side, it is important to be aware of possibilities to feed the experience from previous hirings back into the hiring process to improve it, as well as to try to reduce the cost and effort involved with the hiring process without affecting its effectiveness.
The learnings and pragmatic recommendations discussed here can be applied to virtually any agile enterprise that produces software, regardless of its size.
Nermin Caluk is a software quality assurance professional, member of American Society for Quality (ASQ), with background in computer science engineering and with an MBA degree, currently employed as a QA Team Lead at XING AG (Hamburg). Over last years he gathered valuable experience from working in US and European companies as test consultant and test manager in different industries: maps/navigation, social networks, media (radio), car industry and university.
Sergej Mudruk is Team Lead Quality Assurance in the mobile cluster at XING AG. Finished economics studies in 2000 in Ukraine, afterwards studied computer science in Hamburg. With only a few QA members at XING in May 2008, he participated in the introduction of agile QA processes in the company to the current state of the QA department with around 20 members. He is responsible for all aspects of QA - test planning, manual testing and test automation, as well as hiring, coaching and leading the QA engineers in the mobile cluster.