Meet a Muley: Nicolas Arkhipenko, Lead Software Test Engineer

June 9 2017

0 comments 0
Nicolas Arkhipenko

Tell us about your role at MuleSoft.

I am a Senior Software Engineer in Test. I have two jobs: I am the Product Owner of Central Automation and the Lead Engineer in the Engineering Services team.

The Central Automation team’s mission is to support the team with their Test Automation debt, from Unit to end-to-end. On the other hand, Engineering Services is a small team and its mission is to enable teams to deliver high-quality software within a short period, by leveraging and optimizing tools and practices.

What is the most interesting problem you are working on solving right now?

I am currently working on how to conduct a proper test automation within microservice architectures, while ensuring that the test also fits in a Continuous Delivery (CD) model. I have to define the test automation strategy; I find the implementation of it an exciting and challenging experience. To implement a CD pipeline, we have to reduce the amount of end-to-end testing to 2-3 minutes executions. This mandates conducting tests at lower levels for each microservice. It’s also not the typical automation pyramid solution; as such, it requires using different tools in different languages.

The actual implementation is a journey, in which I’m learning about Jenkins 2, Docker, Kubernetes, Helm and many new and fascinating technologies.

How did you become a lead software test engineer?

Ever since I can remember, I have owned a computer. I learned some coding in Pascal and C when I was very young, and I always preferred to play with different tools rather than coding them. I used to install an app, play with it,  and then move on to another. I remember finding bugs in Windows OS just because I was playing with things that nobody used. I was a big fan of Windows Millennial, that thing was an honest piece of software! When it didn’t work, it was not ashamed of throwing the user with a blue screen, I loved to find different ways to find that blue screen.

My first job when I was in university was working in a small localization company doing testing. I ended up leading a big team in my first job, and, since then, leading teams has become natural for me. After that, I focused on improving my technical and coding skills for several years. Still, from time to time, I ended up leading a team. It is a constant struggle between two things that I love to do: coding and leading a team!

Why did you choose to come work for MuleSoft?

Because I always wanted to work for a product company. In Argentina, there are not a lot of options in this area. I worked as a contractor for a long time, and I wanted to work in a challenging environment with more responsibilities. Like most of the decisions I have made, this one came at the right time.

For me, moving to San Francisco had nothing to do with leaving Argentina or living in the U.S. It was all about the exciting challenges that come from moving to a new environment. I think that traveling changing environments is one of the most rewarding experience one can have. And since MuleSoft’s biggest office is in San Francisco, it was was natural for me to move there. San Francisco is also the most iconic city to live in as a Software Engineer, what is not exciting about that?

Take us through a typical day in the life.

I go to the office at 9, 10, or 11 am depending on how late I stayed up the night before. Sometimes I take advantage of our office snacks for breakfast, and other times I just wait for lunch. On some days I have a full week of coding on some automation, while I may spend other days running from meeting to meeting and not coding at all.

The only typical thing about my days at MuleSoft are the agile ceremonies we have for Central Automation and Engineering Services teams. There is no way we can work efficiently if we don’t have dailys, groomings, plannings, demos, and so on.

What 3 things are always on your desk and why?

My monitor and the two books that support it. The rest is just random stuff that I usually lose, and I have to start looking for them from time to time in the office!

What teams do you work with most, and how do you collaborate?

I work closely with the Central Automation and Engineering Services team. With the Central Automation team, we work closely with the API Manager on new projects. We build test automation tools for end-to-end testing, especially UI and API, and we also automate regression suites.

I work daily with the Engineering Services team, using test automation tools, testing strategies, and, ultimately, including these in the CD Pipeline.

What is your favorite activity outside of the office?

I like climbing and bouldering, especially when I was a healthy young man and worked for a single team with fewer responsibilities. This is still my favorite activity, but playing video games is way easier to do these days!

What is your proudest accomplishment in your role here so far?

My proudest accomplishment was starting a team from scratch––a team that is very dedicated, motivated and adds value in every sprint through a predictable velocity. I’m also very proud of the test automation strategy we are implementing for microservice architectures.

What is the latest technology you’ve learned to use?

Kubernetes and Helm. I needed to understand these technologies in order to implement the end-to-end automation stage in the CD pipeline.

What is your favorite thing about working on the Quality Engineering team at MuleSoft?

For me, the best part is working with testers who have a strong passion for improving the craft of software testing. This is something that I never really came across in other companies. At MuleSoft, there are people that spend their own time learning about testing practices, useful tools, and test automation. The passion here is so real that team members created the first community of testers in Argentina, which has had more than a year of monthly meetups.

I learned a lot so far, and that is the best part about working on the Quality Engineering team in Mulesoft. Each tester is an expert in a different area, and they are always willing to explain anything to you––whether it is over a beer during after work or over a cup of coffee during work.

Our Quality Engineering team is growing! Learn more about our engineering roles in San Francisco and Buenos Aires to see where you can make an impact.


 


We'd love to hear your opinion on this post