(This is an aggregate of real conversations, with real people in the firmware team – just under a made-up persona for reasons of shyness).

 

“You need to have that drive to really get to the bottom of a test anomaly.  We can’t just walk away.  No matter what it takes we are determined to answer the question in front of us.  It means you need to be focused and uncompromising – but also willing to ask for help.  We are very much a team in SIT – a win for one of us is a win for the team.”

 

The US Systems Integration Test (SIT) team is located in our Alpharetta office in Atlanta, Georgia. It installs test builds that are downloaded to terminals representing production units for our North American customers.  It is very important to test applications in a ‘real world’ environment to the customer specific configurations to ensure everything will work exactly as a customer expects.

To do this we run various test scenarios including cards, scanners, printers, terminal features, and Invenco Cloud Services that we may have specifically configured or developed, for the customer.  We run three different labs and test a wide variety of scenarios across a large number of different units.  Our aim is to make sure any new release or upgrade operates as it should.

We use tools based on WinSCP, AWS and some that simulate gasoline pumps.  You need a good understanding of SQL database and be able to view and edit in HTML.  We see our job as being incredibly important – which it is – and in many respects we directly represent our customers in every single product deployment.

Where hardware and software collide

Working in the SIT team you get to take both the hardware and software on our Outdoor Payment Terminals apart.  You need to understand how to debug both and that literally requires thinking that sits outside of the box.  There could be 12 right answers to any single query and we need to get below the various layers of hardware, firmware, middleware and applications to ensure we have tested every possible scenario – and a few impossible ones as well.

We also work through all the layers of software regression testing for Invenco Cloud Services and need to understand how all of this connects.  We get involved in ensuring the solution is easy to use, does what it is designed to do and performs to the standard required. It means no two days are the same and we get to experience a tremendous variety of test scenarios.

“Some of the team come from a hardware background – others from software – but we need to be proficient in both to be on the SIT team. It puts us on a continual learning curve that differs based on our personal background and experience. What we all have in common is a real tenacity and passion for problem solving as that is fundamentally a lot of what we do.”

Working for a New Zealand company

It is quite unusual being in a US company that is a subsidiary as opposed to Head Office.  It is the ultimate in working remotely and it challenges you in terms of communication and remote collaboration.  We are also a very diverse team with Hungarians, Indians and Americans in our team with pretty much a 50/50 mix of males and females (which is still a bit unusual in the tech space) and a good range of age and experience.

 

“The product challenges we work on are heavily configuration based – so we can’t assume something is broken just because it is reacting differently to the way we believe it should.  It takes a certain ability to persevere in figuring it out; we need to understand what questions we should be asking to get to the answers we really need.”