“Honestly, I don’t have experience in that language and I’ve never done UI automation before.” “That’s ok, we see your skills and think you’d be a fit anyway.”
Before Blackhawk bought the company, InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions was the go-to company for getting prepaid and reloadable gift cards. We’re sure they still are, just it’s under a different name.
It was a small, tightly-knit team of developers, product owners, sales, customer service, project managers, and of course software testers.
They were having trouble getting through their testing quickly. They knew they could automate that testing, and had tried, but there was a pretty sticky spot that they hadn’t been successful with.
Here’s the story.
The interview and closing the project went pretty smoothly, but I was caught off guard by what they were asking. They had the record of previous successes, yet nowhere in there was it mentioned about doing front end test automation. Everything up to that point had been back-end, low-level stuff.
But they said, “That’s ok, we see your skills and think you’d be a fit anyway.”
So we won the project.
Bypassing a CAPTCHA?
In the first week, the biggest challenge was getting past a CAPTCHA. This was one that was “homebrewed” there at InteliSpend, the kind where it says, “Click on the picture of a mountain,” and you prove you’re a human by doing exactly that. You’d pick from 16 pictures. Now this was early on in learning about front end test automation, but after a full week of trying every possible trick, finally it worked. It was able to click the correct picture 100% of the time.
The QA manager said, “Keep this under your hat for now, I’d like to show this off at the next town hall meeting. The developers are gonna freak out.”
At the Town Hall
Bypassing this CAPTCHA had stopped a lot of progress on testing. Mainly, the ability to create a new account, and any other operations that were offshoots of that one always ran up against the CAPTCHA. So there were “clouds” of tests that just couldn’t be automated, but they were time consuming.
The day of the Town Hall, the QA team was to give a presentation of what all had been done in the two weeks since bringing this new consultant on board. It was hard to keep a straight face, but we did the demo and, yes, the developers did freak out. As an added bonus, since the code wasn’t really efficient, there was a pregnant pause where people thought it wasn’t doing anything, and then it finally clicked the appropriate picture. Hilarity ensued.
From Then On
At that point it was proven that automation really could save a lot of time. Much work was done over the following year to build out tests for a total of 3 platforms, and save hundreds of hours of testing year over year.
Anything can be automated. Need some help? Let’s get some time to chat.