Peter Spitzer: Test Engineer of the Year 2013
Janine Love- January 30, 2013What have been your greatest challenges at TRICENTIS since you joined the company in 2008? How have you overcome them?
Personally I would say that the redesign of the TRICENTIS test portfolio was my greatest challenge. The project was especially challenging because the entire test team needed to accomplish all three phases (optimization, automation and the rollout of Kanban) alongside our daily work. We are all used to working with deadlines; however, this was an unusually huge project with strict deadlines, involving collaboration with many different teams. We were faced with a huge number of obstacles which we had to overcome.
Any test tools you wish you had? Or you wish someone would invent?
I wished that we would have had test data management (TDM) in the early days when I started testing. In the past, we had to create our own test data for particular test cases. We could try to use production data but then needed to mask the data or spend weeks creating fictitious test data for a particular test. Today with TDM this is no longer necessary because the test team is able to build a test case and automatically generate the perfect test data for that particular scenario. This saves us months of work.
In the future, I can see a time where the next generation of testing is much more integrated with the agile sprints and where the test automation begins much earlier in a project even with the requirements. Often we are brought in a bit later in the game. Shifting the testing to the left of the development release cycle would let us catch defects and errors much sooner in the process. Ideally, if we could catch these when they are in the requirements phase that would be even better.
Any advice for new engineers?
I have worked in the testing field since 2008, so I'm not an “old hand” in this business yet, and should not give advice to new engineers (since I'm one myself). What I can tell you, is that for me, working as a test engineer is one of the most fulfilling and also rewarding experiences I've had so far. As a tester you should be a communicative person, offer good analytical and social skills, have good perception along with a passion for solving tricky puzzles. All I would recommend is: Be persistent, insist on excellence in testing, and use every source of knowledge you can get to become a better tester.”
You will receive a $10,000 grant to give to the educational institution of your choice (courtesy of award sponsor, National Instruments), what will you do with it and why?
I would like to set up a scholarship fund with the $10,000 grant for a student that is interested in a career in software testing but is economically disadvantaged and has tremendous potential in the field of testing. The grant would provide short-term funding to a deserving student each year and could be set up as a perpetual grant. We will be contacting the Technical University of Vienna to see if this is feasible.
What's next for you in your job/career goals?
Now that I'm "Test Engineer of the Year" are there any goals left that I can achieve? To be serious, there is always a "next" in a test engineer’s career. You'll never reach a point in your life where you can say "I've seen everything, I know everything..." There's constant learning and further training until the end of your career.
From my point of view, TRICENTIS offers me the best environment to expand my knowledge and always challenges me with new projects which help me become a better tester. For me, that's my ultimate goal. I'll go on with what I do, help to keep the high standard of quality of the TOSCA Testsuite, improve the performance of our tests, and raise the level of test automation. Besides that, TRICENTIS is always working on innovations so I'm sure there are many projects waiting for me I don't know of yet.
I'm sure we can continue to expect great things from Peter, and all of us at Test & Measurement World wish him well in his future.
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