“I have come to realise that keeping my skills relevant gives me more opportunities to present viable options and alternatives to clients, and be better placed to advise the best way forward, and more importantly, how to make it happen.”
Keith Grant, Senior Test Consultant, Planit
Senior Test Consultant, Keith Grant, never intended to get into testing. He was first and foremost a developer, writing “bug-free code” that would not require any “official testing,” until one day disaster struck.
“Someone in the SIT (system integration testing) team found something hairy, creepy and crawly in some of the functionality I delivered,” Keith jokes. “They obviously did something wrong and didn’t understand how it was supposed to work in the first place!”
On that day, Keith realised there was perhaps some value in testing. With test automation in particular, he saw a way to do testing without all the associated effort.
With automation, Keith realised he could make use of his development background and add a testing twist to it. “During my time working for a tools vendor and implementing automation solutions, I realised that code was inherently error prone, and perhaps a well-trained professional independently looking over what was going to production, was not a bad idea after all,” he says.
With Keith’s path set on test automation, he honed his craft in various roles in the UK before finding an opening at Planit in Sydney. The opportunity to work for a consultancy in sunny Australia proved too hard to pass up.
“I loved the consultancy angle and the sun,” Keith says. “What more could you ask for when you had spent the last 12 years in sunny, sunny England!”
The dynamic nature of consulting kept Keith engaged at the Sydney office until June 2016, when he packed up and moved to Brisbane to experience even more sun and warmth. “I’m meeting new people every day, working with highly-skilled professionals, adding value to different clients, and still enjoying sunny BBQ-filled Christmases!” he says.
Since joining Planit, Keith has made the most of the company’s comprehensive and well-regarded courses to completed most certifications in testing. “I have come to realise that keeping my skills relevant gives me more opportunities to present viable options and alternatives to clients, and be better placed to advise the best way forward, and more importantly, how to make it happen,” he says.
As things change in IT and software testing, Keith says it is vital to keep abreast of the latest industry trends, ideas and best practices. “We need that edge, as without it we become stagnant and the law of diminishing returns takes hold,” he says.
Looking back at his own career, the best advice Keith would like to impart on someone starting out in testing is to focus on soft skills as much as technical ones. While being able to do the job well is critical, being able to articulate and work with others in an advisory and consultative manner is just as important.
“Today, testing is much more collaborative than it was years ago, meaning that testers need to be the ‘complete package,’” Keith says. “While clients enjoy working with great testers, they relish the opportunity to work with exceptional testers that have much more to offer, and can add value in all areas of delivery.”