Francois is one of our colleagues who moved from abroad to come work with us as a test automation engineer. He and his family exchanged the warm South African climate for the changing Dutch weather. Find out more about his life in the Netherlands and his work at spriteCloud in this edition of the ‘Getting to know us’ series.
Hi, can you please tell us about yourself?
I am proudly South African, married and have two younglings. I like to embrace change so I thought I’d broaden my horizons and look for an opportunity abroad. It just so happened that a recruiter found my profile on Linkedin, and before I knew it I had some interviews lined up with SpriteCloud and also with the potential client. Well, I must have done something right during this process because now I’m here!
We want to know more about your background. What was the path you took to get to where you are today? How did you get into test automation?
I started my career as a junior developer and then decided to go into QA to try something a bit different. I managed to land a great QA job at a company I had always wanted to get into. It was at this company that I was introduced to the world of test automation, which is a great path to be in because it is a blend of both development and QA. Having never left South Africa in my 32 years, it was quite a big decision to up and move to another country entirely but I do like a challenge, so here we are.
What do you like most about your role at spriteCloud?
The ability to further my knowledge by taking the opportunities presented at SpriteCloud. It is comforting to know that this is encouraged and no particular path is forced upon you. If you would like to learn or attend a course ranging from pretty much anything like Python coding, security testing, ISTQB’s or even becoming a certified SCRUM master, these decisions are supported. There is never a downside to growing your résumé!
Another great thing for me personally is the change of environment and flexibility of choice to work remotely, from the office or at the client. The change of scenery keeps work interesting and less monotone-ish. This also has a positive impact on my personal life, as we have two young children. Being able to take a coffee break and spend a little bit of time with them on the days when I work from home makes for the perfect away from keyboard moments.
What is the most interesting test automation project you have worked on? What kind of framework did you use?
One of the more interesting, yet simple ones’ was a project that had been estimated to cost just over 1000hrs worth of manual testing. It required UI assertions for multiple combinations of screens. I chose this project because it is the perfect example of how automation can assist. The solution was built in Ranorex and we managed to save close to 700 hours.
Thinking about your career, where do you see yourself in the future? Are there any particular skills you’d like to develop?
Definitely Automation specialist/architect. I would love to be the go-to guy for test automation-related queries. Cloud and VM technologies are on my list of skills I would love to develop further.
Since you recently moved to the Netherlands, are there any cultural differences that were really striking to you compared to South Africa?
Healthcare is very different here, but effective in its own right I guess. It is completely true that a doctor will prescribe Paracetamol for just about anything. In South Africa, you can go to a doctor (usually on the same day you phone), get prescription medication and be on the mend in no time, whereas here you will need to ride it out unless it is more or less life-threatening.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I have a wide range of interests, these include but are definitely not limited to gaming, anime, 3D printing, Marvel, Star Wars, new & upcoming technology etc.