Do you know what a scrum master is (and we’re not talking about being the best player on the rugby pitch)? How about a test automation engineer? When someone says they work in IT many of us would have already created that picture in our minds of a person fixing internet connections or installing software, surrounded by wires.
In reality, IT encompasses a whole host of roles from project managers, developers and analysts to the aforementioned test engineers and scrum masters.
We find out from Rich and Tim what their roles as Senior Test Automation Engineer and Scrum Master actually involve, what challenges they have to overcome and what it is about their roles they enjoy.
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Before stepping into the world of IT, all Rich wanted to do was “draw cartoons”. So “working in IT was not on the top of my list.” However, working within software testing for more than ten years Rich can confidently say “it’s a great career and I really enjoy my job.”
This is also true for Tim, he highlights how there aren’t “many people who grow up wanting to be a Scrum Master (or even knowing what one is).” However, after spending around 10 years in London, working a “variety of jobs”, (including “starting as a parliamentary researcher working in Westminster before beginning to work in IT”), Tim feels his role here “suits very well with the skill set” he has.
Although both Rich and Tim’s roles differ in terms of what they do on a daily basis, there is a strong similarity in the importance of teamwork and connecting with others in the business.
Tim acts as a facilitator for an agile development team and describes Scrum Masters as “servant/leaders…the role is multifaceted and, amongst other tasks, I work with stakeholders to understand requirements and influence decision makers”.
As a test engineer working in an Agile Scrum team, Rich will start each day with a stand up, discussing “progress from the previous day, and what we plan to work on next.” His role also means he requires support from around the business which he says is “invaluable when implementing business critical functionality.”
This is equally the case for Tim. He acts as a facilitator for an agile development team and describes Scrum Masters as “servant/leaders…the role is multifaceted and, amongst other tasks, I work with stakeholders to understand requirements and influence decision makers”.
Whether it’s ensuring systems are running smoothly or keeping teams on track, both Rich and Tim are responsible for making their areas of the business function effectively. Rich explains that part of his role entails “proving that any newly developed functionality meets the business requirements, doesn’t break any existing functionality, or negatively impact the business process.”
For Tim, his aim is to make sure there’s a “clear path for my teams to deliver the work effectively and efficiently.” In order to achieve this Tim could on any given day be “removing any impediments that are preventing the team from completing the work, ensuring all team members are aware of the progress they have made towards the sprint goal or working with stakeholders to understand requirements and set expectations.”
No day is ever the same in the world of IT but something that is consistent for Rich and Tim is being a team player. A collaborative approach is important for them both with Rich highlighting how “communication is key, and being a passionate team player is vital”. Tim agrees and enjoys “working with people, solving problems, seeing a team flourish and ultimately succeed”.
Although this is an ever-evolving industry, Rich feels like he has learnt a lot during his time at Health-on-Line. “Seeing my hard work pay off has been very rewarding. I have also been able to use the skills learnt at work in my personal time, and have started writing my own computer game. So it turns out I still get to draw cartoons after all!”
If you like the sound of working in IT or at Health-on-Line, you can find our current vacancies over on our Careers page.