MaidSafe New Team Member: Stephen Coyle
Thank you for making me feel so welcome since I joined the team/community/movement :-)
Here’s a quick intro to me and my background, which will hopefully let you know a bit more about who I am and what I hope to add to the company.
Born and brought up in 1980’s Glasgow during the glory days when Scotland actually qualified for football tournaments (the definition of ultimate glory in Scotland these days), and our teams at least put up a fight in European competition, I graduated with Honours from my Glasgow Caledonian University Computing course. IT jobs in Glasgow were pretty difficult to come by with zero experience, so I moved to just outside London for 3 years where I worked for IBM doing some general tech support, and some Lotus Notes/Domino development and support. The lure of home eventually brought me back to Glasgow where I took a tech support role with Ernst & Young. After moving to a similar role at the University of Glasgow, I found out after I started that testing web apps was a big part of my new job…things would never be the same again!
Software testing went from being an ‘extra’ task in my day to day role, to what I felt most passionate about. I sat my ISTQB test (more about that later) and thought I knew it all…
Time progressed and I moved company. Suddenly I was faced with testing windows apps, mobile apps and web apps. I worked with my colleagues to figure out the best way to test that suited us — this is when I realised that the ISTQB taught way of working is actually pretty worthless in the real world of software testing. ISTQB barely mentioned Agile or exploratory testing. It taught me to create mountains of paperwork for each project, paperwork that would inevitably be ‘copy & pasted’ between each project and so was pretty much worthless. Did I really need to write out manual test steps in huge test scripts which walked someone else through every click & key type? I realised that the time I was wasting following the ISTQB practices could be spent doing something more productive…TESTING!
So onwards & upwards! I built and managed a team across 2 UK sites and was the face of testing to our customers and auditors. We tested various different products concurrently and I even went back to my old university to give a lecture on testing. I must know it all now, right?
Being in management meant that my time actually testing got less and less. I missed the day to day involvement on the frontline, so a few years later I joined FanDuel. I was now tasked with writing automated UI tests (in Python, using Selenuim WebDriver), testing the API (using Postman) and testing core layer Java code (using existing/newly written Python scripts and JSON-RPC requests). I was now also working with microservices and a thorough suite of automated integration tests through the Java — API — Web layers. All a huge difference from where I’d come from. I loved the challenges in learning these new skills and eventually training new starters in them. I caught the bug of learning new things and expanding my testing knowledge — clearly I’m never actually going to know it all, so what other exciting things are out there for me to discover?
I’m pretty active in Glasgow testing meetups — attending, mentoring and hosting. My goal is to talk at a testing conference at some point, I love the buzz and interaction at conferences, it really energises me and fuels my love of my discipline, a discipline that seems to be overlooked a lot. It’s very rare to meet someone who goes to university to become a software tester, we all seem to fall into the role.
Oh yeah, the important stuff — I’m married to my beautiful wife, Shabana, and we have 3 gorgeous girls, Aisha, Nadia and Sofia, aged 5 years, 3 years and 5 months :-D
Anyway, enough about me. I’m really excited to join the team at MaidSafe and can’t wait to get to know you all! Let’s make a difference.
My LinkedIn profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-coyle-5b4731b9/