Judging by the media coverage, 2019 will be remembered in software circles as the year Angie Jones was everywhere.
The upcoming PNSQC keynote speaker (“Testing the Untestable”) has been on nearly every 2019 list of automation experts. Her blog has recently been named one of “The 6 Essential QA Blogs to Read in 2019.” And a publication includes Jones on its list of “33 test automation leaders to follow in 2019.” Plus, People of Color in Tech also listed her as one of 200 women to follow on Twitter this year.
Words like “innovator” are routinely applied to this engineer who is “changing the face of technology,” as one fan enthused. Jones has become so popular on the tech speakers’ circuit that her most recent employer, Applitools, created a unique position and title for her: Senior Development Advocate. Applitools also helped her launch Test Automation University, which offers free online courses, with credits, by the most respected professionals in the field on any topic related to test automation.
How did Jones arrive at this elevated status? A peek at her resume suggests it was good old fashioned hard work.
Best Practices on a Wider Platform
She got her start out of college with IBM, where she worked in nearly all phases of software life cycle in a nearly nine-year stint. She honed her automation skills at Teradata, LexisNexis, and Twitter, the latter job finally luring her away from North Carolina to the Golden State and Golden Gate: San Francisco, California.
But, as a frequent conference speaker and blogger, Jones kind of became too famous for her day job.
“As she began to publish content more regularly, Angie received requests from more and more companies to present at conferences and seminars,” wrote Jasmine Johnson for the web news site Wogrammer. “When it became challenging to balance her extensive travel with a more traditional work schedule, a timely opportunity presented itself to join Applitools as a Senior Development Advocate.”
Eager to tap into Jones’ magic, but respectful of her growing notability, Applitools created a flexible role that allows Jones to spread the word about automation best practices while still contributing to Applitools.
As she told Wogrammer: “My job is to help automation engineers and developers around the world become better at their jobs. Over the past two years, I’ve traveled to more than a dozen countries to share my knowledge with others; and it’s funny because you think that these countries will have different problems and challenges, but tech is universal and everyone is struggling with the same things.”
Sharing Test Automation Challenges and Solutions
Jones still finds unique challenges within test automation. Machines can learn, she says, but they require human masters to add a dose of common sense that continues to elude the mind of the machine. In her keynote address, she will share some of her most challenging automation testing situations. She may even talk about the software bug that had dress ads appearing disproportionately before male viewers, much to her dismay. Check out more of her thoughts on machine learning on her site.
At the end of the day, Jones loves the potential exhibited by artificial intelligence and machine learning, but insists that without rigorous testing, the machines can easily go off the tracks.
“While we should embrace new technology, it’s imperative that we, as testers, not allow others to convince us that any software has advanced beyond the point of needing testing. We must continue to question, interrogate, and advocate for the human customers that we serve,” she says.
We’re excited to have Jones at PNSQC this year. Her insights to test automation and improving software are not to be missed. She will be presenting the keynote “Testing the Untestable” at PNSQC 2019. She will also be leading the workshop “Introduction to Automated Visual Validation” on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Register now to attend PNSQC, Oct 14-16, and meet Angie Jones and other leaders in the software quality community.