Andrei joined Endava in our Bucharest office as a Software Tester in 2014. Without a clear idea of where his career would take him, he embraced the challenges, the uncertainty and the unknown and ended up doing all the cool and interesting stuff that Endava empowers him to do: working on testing frameworks, sharing his knowledge through Pass It On or training sessions and simply having the freedom to pursue his goals.
When did you join the company and what was your career path so far?
I’ve been in Endava for almost five years and it has surpassed all of my expectations, in terms of years I was planning to stay in a company and the professional opportunities I was offered. I have never thought I’d stay more than one or two years in a company, given how fast people in our industry change jobs.
When I joined Endava, back in 2014, I wanted to continue on the path of automated testing, but my first project was for a client who wanted only manual testing because of the complexity of the domain he worked in. I tried to bring the idea of writing automated tests several times through POC or in meetings but got refused every time. My strategy then shifted towards working harder to prove to the client that we are to be trusted and we can handle the extra “burden” of writing automated tests. My team was fantastic, it had a great chemistry and a good rhythm, meeting all our objectives required by the client, even in very tight deadlines.
In the end, this experience served me well because on my next project we had with the same client, the POC was a success and I was able to focus more on automation, delivering a custom testing framework.
Nowadays I am a Test Consultant and Practice Area Lead for the Test Automation Practice in Bucharest and I’m trying to bring the same spirit of innovation and pro-activeness in everything I do.
Tell us about what drives and guides you at Endava?
Coming to work with a smile on my face, that’s my goal. If what I do does not please me, then I will absolutely try to change something. Every time I wanted to change something at Endava, I was always given the possibility to do so and the people around me were highly supportive. That is a truly empowering feeling.
Another thing that I like is to train, teach and help my colleagues. I always try to make time for such important matters: I love delivering training sessions, I try to give my best solution when colleagues have problems on their project and I try to share what others taught me.
My first workshop was on Selenium, back in 2014, and ever since, I have delivered training sessions on API, Maven, Git, Jenkins and many other topics. I believe it’s a double win: you learn while you teach, it’s not a one-way knowledge transfer.
Before starting at Endava, I was relatively shy and didn’t have much experience with public speaking but with some good counselling and the right training at the right time, I think I managed to overcome most of my fears.
Could you share some books/tutorials/speeches that had an effect on your career path?
Keeping up with technology and tools these days can be pretty tricky. I tend to follow well-established Automation Testers from around the globe. To name just a few: Friendly Tester Richard Bradshaw and Angie Jones – I read their blogs, watch conferences they attend and experiment with tools they’ve had success with. I think it’s very hard for anyone to stay on top of trends, but I think in our industry, trying is succeeding.
My beliefs in regards to people and work are influenced by two talks: Dan Pink - The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, because it challenges everything we know about motivation and Jeff Morgan – Patterns in Test Automation, who speaks about what makes a test framework a reliable one.
What was your biggest accomplishment from a technical point of view?
Since my first experience in building a custom testing framework, I created a new framework for API testing called InTest, which we use in Endava as an accelerator at the start of a new project, doing a whole month’s worth of tests in just one day, saving a lot of time and effort. The idea was a success since more and more colleagues are interested in it. Our colleagues from Bogota are even adding new functionalities to InTest.
In hindsight, I see how each project brought me a new perspective and understanding of my work. After my first attempt to change the client’s mind and push for automated tests, I learned that manual testing goes with automation testing, not against it. You need them both. The first is cheaper and the latter helps in the long run.
In addition to this, in 2014 I was voted the “Superhero of the Future” in Endava’s Testing Discipline. I’m grateful for the votes and proud of the award.
What can you tell us about your life outside of work?
During my time off, I do all kind of different activities, but playing board games is the one that stands out. Game of Thrones - The Board Game is my favourite. I am a very competitive person and always try to bring the best that I can in everything I do, even when it comes to playing games.
When I’m in game mode, I try to do everything I can to succeed and to help my team win.