Our Thinking
A Great Opportunity (probably)
17 June 2013 | Posted by David Gilpin

Having started in Kainos as a Senior Test Engineer about 6 months previous I was happy as Larry working away and getting to grips with my new role and responsibilities. I remember asking for feedback from the review process and one thing that stuck out to me was about “getting your name out there” and “contributing in more knowledge sharing sessions”.  Trying to take this on board I considered posting some interesting finds and tips on Yammer (the company’s internal social network)… but I am, (as you’re about to find out) not the best at writing. I also tried my hand at helping out some of the test team in presentations at universities and the like. Great experience – but it didn’t really help me share in the Kainos community.

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David (right) presenting at Kainos Poland’s Kick Off event in Gdansk.

A Great Opportunity (probably)

“A Great Opportunity (probably)”… a title to an email has never filled me with such inquiry and fear.  It was a few weeks before the Kick Off event when I was asked to help present an overview of the work being done within the company’s Workday practice. The Kick Off, for those that don’t know, is an annual event in the Kainos calendar where the company gets together to reflect on the previous year and announce plans for the year ahead.

BINGO! I don’t think there is an opportunity quite like this that would tick the boxes for what I was looking. So, the easy part was saying yes, and the hard part was trying to work out how to fit all the good work we were doing into a 25 minute window.

My involvement with the Workday practice was purely QA, more specifically the role of a Test Automation Engineer. We worked alongside a few guys from Workday, helping to create automated tests and expand their framework where possible.  The role involved a fair understanding of Java programming and testing principles, which is what attracted me to the role being a bit techy at heart.

What became very apparent was that the work of the automation team, although an important part of the work we do with Workday, was but one aspect of the services provided by the team. It wasn’t until I started asking around the team to see what people did on a daily basis that I started to see the ‘big picture’.  Within a practice of such size it is easy to get caught up in your own work and miss out on the great work others are doing.  I am sure that I am not the only person in Kainos that would like to know more about what others are up to, so the Kick Off was the perfect opportunity to tell ‘our’ story, from someone ‘in the trenches’.

Before I knew it we had slides prepared, and not long after had presented to the majority of the company. The only downside to presenting was that I missed a few of the other presentations, so you can imagine my joy when through my work on Kainos’s upcoming  automated testing tool for Workday implementations, Kainos Smart™, I just happened to be in our Gdansk offices for their Kick Off event. I (naively) thought I’d sit back and watch others go through the same thing as I had done several times in Belfast.  I was, however, lucky enough to be asked to present again and it was just as before… people from different projects, hearing what others were doing, from the people actually rolling up their sleeves and doing the work.

To wrap up my spiel, one of the hardest things was presenting to peers, but with rooms full people who seemed genuinely interested in what was being said, it was a pleasure, and something that has indeed been a great opportunity.

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