Supporting Automation: An Enhance Member In the Shadows 

Sometimes in the automation world we need a floating team member who is always there to lend a helping hand when needed. Automators who are not assigned to a single project need to have patience, a focus on the wider team and, most of all, good time management skills. What sort of tasks do these Automators pick up to help out the team?

  • On-site visits with clients

Client visits are always fun. Working in a different environment from time to time is a good change of pace from working from the office. When on client visits you get to learn more about the project, the product and the people involved.

  • Helping out with the pipeline of work

Sometimes fellow Automators working on client work need an extra pair of hands to maintain momentum. As a flexible team member you can step in and relieve some of the load. Getting up to speed with a client’s environments and applications in a short period of time can be challenging but provides a great learning opportunity that ultimately makes us better Automators.

  • Doing the grunt work

Sometimes the Practice Lead needs 50 Jenkins jobs updated and, although it’s a repetitive (and boring!) task, it’s freeing other team members up to continue their work. Documentation is also important to keep up to date and is often something that can be overlooked in busy teams. Being a floating Automator helping out with these jobs produces an overall benefit to the team even if it’s not quite as much fun as coding.

  • Ongoing Personal Improvement

Being a floating team member means being a jack of all trades. You must always be ready to jump in and help code or test whatever the other teams need assistance with. You can also fill gaps between helping client teams with personal development such as:

  • Coding Skills Java, Python, C#, JavaScript and other languages
    • The more coding languages you are comfortable with, the better you can switch between different projects. The language isn’t the only thing that matters, having knowledge and understanding of how automation frameworks hang together and how BDD can be used effectively is key to becoming a master QA Engineer.
  • Problem Solving/Strategy Skills
    • We are consultants first and engineers second. Enhance members care about your business just as much as you do. We want to provide quality service which will help the business grow and not just blindly automate without a good strategy behind it. To learn this we can look at current and previous projects to examine how they operated and what impact various decisions had on the project as a whole.
  • CI/CD Tools
    • Knowledge about CI/CD tools such as Jenkins or Bamboo is essential. The deeper our understanding of how these operate, the better we can step in to assist in the automation pipelines of various clients. These tools play an important role when it comes to the reporting results that a client would want to see and it’s critical we know how best to utilise them.

Overall, being a floating team member is a very fulfilling and varied role. If you are a team player and like to help your team members achieve the goals that are set out then spending some time as a floating Automator will be fun, educational and rewarding.