Finding Python people is hard.

by jesse in


...and finding Quality Assurance people with Python experience (especially advanced Test Engineering skills) is even harder. The white oak guys at pycon talked about how they used python experience as a measure of skill/intent. Personally, having spent the better half of the last five years looking for people with good Python skill sets, and now looking to build out a serious team - I'm almost always in the position of hiring on people who know "just enough" and teaching them Python.

Teaching python is easy - but not always what you want to end up doing when you're going fast in a startup (although, I've lost track of how many times I've done this).

Excuse me while I go grumble - either you teach QA people automation/test engineering, or you try to find a programmer who wants to learn/do test engineering and teaching them python. No - I don't want programmers to "do QA" - I want them to write code which proves the product.

It's a hard sell to both parties. You also don't want QA people who view QA as subservient to Development, and Developers who don't see QA as subservient to the same. I technically view QA as one discipline, Development as another, but Test Engineering as the Hybrid of the two - and you need a strong background in both. You are writing complex code to test and prove the product - code which can sometimes be as complex as the product itself.

I'm willing to teach anyone anything I know to help them - doing so helps me in the long term build a strong team. Just finding the right people is not-so-easy.

I said in an interview recently - when asked if I wanted to be a Software Engineer or a Software Test Engineer - that if I am writing code in either one of the roles, I don't see the difference. You're writing tools/code and trying to develop new/interesting things in both roles. If you are writing product code: you still have to write test code. If you write tools for testing: you're writing "product code" (that needs testing code). The same pattern of write-test-write-test applies no matter what code you're writing.

There's nothing "less" about writing code that tests a product, just as there is nothing "unique" about writing the product code itself. Both must be tested, both are code. Would I like to write more product code? Sure - but I have to also write the tests that prove it anyway.

Just as an addendum - Corey made a post, and Terry made a post too both discussing this issue. There's also an awesome comment from another test engineer on the reddit discussion here.