Recruitment tips for QA automation engineers and automation testers with Laura Boland

It’s a year since we last featured you, how has it been going since then?

Yes, it’s been good, 12 months later, it is going well. I’m currently recruiting for QA automation engineers, automation testers, and some Java developers.

What has changed, is QA in more / less demand over the last 12 months?

QA Automation is still very much in demand. In particular, this means being able to develop on frameworks and write scripts while also being able to test. The aim is to reduce the requirements for manual testers.

In relation to languages, Java is still popular as it can be run on many different types of computers.

Open source languages are also in demand as they are available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone, which basically means it is free to use. Examples of this would be Pearl, Python, and Ruby. C# and C++ also continue to be popular with financial institutes.

Where are your candidates coming from?

I would say there is a 50/50 mix of overseas and Irish candidates.

We do have some great candidates here in Ireland, but not enough for all the roles we are trying to fill. A number of foreign companies opening their IT HQ’s here in Ireland far outweigh the amount of available IT workers. However, there is a global shortage of IT candidates so Ireland is not the only place affected.

Since the IT sector has become so prevalent in Ireland there seems to be a higher increase of graduates with Computer degrees. Hopefully, this curve will continue shifting upwards in the coming years.





Is it still Java, C# and Python or more or less of these? Anything new?

All the above languages are still in demand. Ruby and Ruby-On-Rails is also becoming more popular.

There seems to be an increasing need for DevOps Engineers within software houses. I have been asked by a couple of clients to get recruit for this. They have required my assistance as this is quite a niche area.

The reason for the popularity in DevOps is it improves the planning of test and deployment creating greater security, increasing market speed and thus customer satisfaction. As there is not a huge amount of experienced DevOps Engineers clients are open to candidates coming from a development or systems engineering background.

What tips would you give to candidates to do well in interviews?

For technical interviews, they should be able to speak with ease about their coding knowledge and any projects they have completed in the past.

Also, it is important to act interested and enthusiastic. As much as technical knowledge is vital for tech companies, so too is cultural and personality fit.

Research the company, what they do and the technologies they use.

I always recommend finding out who will be interviewing you and checking their profile on LinkedIn to see what companies they have come from and if there is any link between you. Any common link is always a nice ice breaker!

Where do you see it going in the future?

Things are changing. Personally, for me, testing is now 80% automation based. Companies that I would have recruited QA Automation candidates for in the past have now set up their automation framework and have let go of the majority of their manual staff. There still is a minor need for manual testers in companies but my advice is to get your coding/automation experience as soon as you can.

Are you seeing a lot of demand for mobile testing?

Yes, there is a demand for this but it wouldn’t be as in-demand as web or software testing. Within programming, there seem to be 3 different verticals – frontend, backend and mobile. In my opinion backend development still has a higher percentage of careers.

What tips would you give to candidates to future-proof their careers?

I would say whether you are a programmer, tester, PM or Systems Engineer it would be very important to try and get some cloud computing exposure.

Most businesses are now using this as it can perform essential tasks faster and cheaper than with traditional computing models, which require them to build and maintain their own infrastructure. As this is free of maintenance and infrastructure costs, businesses can gain significant cost-savings.

Most new jobs I get in have mentioned experience with Cloud such as AWS or Azure.

How would you advise candidates to stand out over others?

Don’t be afraid to showcase your creativity and use your own initiative.

A lot of the smaller software houses are looking for self-starters that can work on their own initiative and think outside the box to solve issues.

Never be afraid to use your voice!

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