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33 test automation leaders to follow in 2019

public://pictures/Joe-Colantonio .jpg
Joe Colantonio Founder, TestGuild

Test automation technologies and best practices are changing so rapidly that it can be hard to keep up. Fortunately, you'll find a tight community of test automation pros out there who regularly share tips and insights on Twitter. 

Where do I get my ideas for the Test Talks blog and the annual Test Automation Guild online conference? I follow the the top leaders in this space. Here are 33 leading voices in test automation. Because I value their contributions equally, I've arranged them in alphabetical order.

1. Nikolay Advolodkin

CEO and software testing instructor, UltimateQA.com


Advolodkin is a prolific automation test and quality assurance engineer. He is also the No. 1 Selenium WebDriver instructor in the world, as rated by Udemy.com.

[ Special Coverage: Automation Guild online conference ]

2. Jason Arbon

CEO, test.ai


Arbon is one of the earliest AI advocates; he eats, drinks, and sleeps all things AI.  

His company is redefining how agile teams test their mobile and web apps. He was recently the director of engineering and product at Applause.com/uTest.com. Arbon previously held engineering leadership roles at Google, co-wrote How Google Tests Sofware and wrote App Quality: Secrets for Agile App Teams.

3. Gleb Bahmutov

Vice president of engineering, Cypress.io


Cypress is one of this year’s top automaton tools, and I'm expecting it to be even bigger in 2019. Bahmutov is a JavaScript ninja, image processing expert, and software quality fanatic. By night, he fights software bugs and blogs about it. Follow him to stay up to date with the latest developments in JavaScript automation testing.

4. Katrina Clokie

Testing coach


Clokie serves a team of more than 30 testers in Wellington, New Zealand. She is an active contributor to the international testing community as the editor of Testing Trapeze magazine, and as a mentor with Speak Easy. She is also a co-founder of her local testing meetup, WeTest Workshops, and is an international conference speaker, as well as a regular blogger and tweeter. She recently wrote the highly rated book A Practical Guide to Testing in DevOps.

5. Lisa Crispin

Test advocate, Mabl


Crispin is a co-author (with Janet Gregory) of More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team and Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams, and (with Tip House) of Testing Extreme Programming. She was voted by her peers as the most influential agile testing professional person in 2012. She enjoys working as a tester and sharing her experiences in the agile and testing communities.

I believe Crispin is a must-follow in 2019 for anyone who would like to get a real tester's point of view regarding AI testing technologies.

6. Kwo Ding

Lead QA automation engineer, R&D, Backbase


Ding is a hands-on test automation architect/consultant with 10 years of experience in software testing. His focus is on implementing test automation strategies and designing test infrastructures for organizations. He specializes in web, mobile, and API test automation.

He recently developed an open-source Sonar WebDriver plugin. The plugin is a static code-analysis tool that helps testers follow best practices for writing WebDriver tests, and is something I hope to learn more about in the new year.

7. Kent C. Dodds

 Full-stack JavaScript engineer, PayPal


Dodds represents PayPal on the Ecma TC39 committee. He's actively involved in the open-source community and is an instructor on Egghead.io, Frontend Masters, and Workshop.me. He's also a Google Developer Expert. Dodds also recently created a new course on Testing JavaScript, which is a great resource for your developers and software developers in test. 

8. Noemi Ferrera

Senior SDET, NetEase


Ferrera is a computer scientist who is passionate about technology and testing. She has the rare skills of both a developer and tester, and has always striven for quality automation and tooling creation to ease the entire development process. She is currently working for NetEase games, where she helped develop an automation tool called AirTest, an open-source test automation tool aimed at hard-to-automate applications.

9. Bria Grangard

Product marketing specialist, SmartBear Software


Grangard is a subject-matter expert in the software testing field. She's also a popular speaker on topics including how to accelerate your testing pipeline through parallel testing and best practices for managing test cases. She loves to speak to testers in all industries across all software development styles, educating them on ways they can speed up their release cycle without compromising the quality of their applications.

Grangard is also a podcaster, co-hosting the show The Good, the Bad, and the Buggy.

10. Paul Grizzaffi

Principal automation architect, Magenic


Grizzaffi has created automation platforms and tool frameworks based on proprietary, open-source, and vendor-supplied tool chains in diverse product environments, ranging from telecom to stock trading, e-commerce, and healthcare. He is an accomplished speaker at both local and national meetings and conferences and serves as an advisor to software test professionals and STPCon.

11. Aslak Hellesøy 

Cucumber creator


Hellesøy is the creator of Cucumber (10 million downloads) and the author of The Cucumber Book (20,000 copies sold; currently out of print). He has 18 years of development experience under his belt, and has been active in the open-source and agile communities for 15 years. Simply put, you can't go wrong following the person who created Cucumber if you are doing any sort of BDD testing.

12. Kristin Jackvony 

Quality assurance lead, Paylocity


I had to include a fellow Rhode Islander on my list.

Jackvony is an experienced quality assurance tester and manager, specializing in both improving legacy software and supporting new software from the earliest stages of development. She is proficient in automated testing using WebDriver with Java and Protractor, API testing with Postman and SpecFlow, and manual exploratory testing. Skilled in organizing systems and processes to support all areas of testing, Jackvony has been very active in sharing her knowledge on her blog, Think Like a Tester.

13. Tanya Janca

Senior cloud security advocate, Microsoft


Security testing is a hot topic that I expect to become even hotter in 2019, and one person I believe is a must-follow in this area is Janca.

She is an application security evangelist, web application penetration tester, trainer, public speaker, and ethical hacker who has been developing software since the late '90s. She is also an OWASP expert and frequent speaker on all things security testing–related. 

14. Angie Jones

Senior developer advocate, Applitools


Jones continues to spread her automation knowledge across the globe and has become one of the top draws at automation testing conferences. Her position with Applitools is relatively new, so look forward to hearing her wisdom as it applies to visual validation testing in the new year.

15. Tariq King 

Director of quality engineering, Ultimate Software


King is an expert in all things quality- and performance-related. He is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops, has published more than 30 research articles in IEEE- and ACM-sponsored journals, and has developed and taught software testing courses in both industry and academia. His primary research interest is engineering autonomous self-testing systems.

He is a co-founder (with Jason Arbon) of the Artificial Intelligence for Software Testing Association.

16. Andrew Krug

Quality consultant, Gingham Consultants


Krug found his test automation calling very early on. During his journey, he has built test automation infrastructures at scale for both desktop browsers and mobile devices. In his spare time, he’s a Selenium Conference committee member and runs the workshop "Diving into Selenium" at all of the Selenium Conferences. Krug blogs at LazyCoder.io.

17. Manoj Kumar

Lead technical evangelist, Applitools


It seems Kumar is always working on cool, open-source automation testing projects of some sort. He is a steering committee member of the Selenium Project. He has architected many automated testing solutions using tools in the Selenium ecosystem for both web and mobile apps. He's also an open-source enthusiast who has contributed to various libraries including Selenium, ngWebDriver, Serenity, and Protractor. He is also the author of a blog called Assert Selenium

18. Meaghan Lewis 

Quality assurance engineer, GitHub


At GitHub, Lewis is building out a robust automation suite and implementing a strong foundation for quality within the organization. She began her career as a consultant at ThoughtWorks. Since then, she has worked for a variety of companies and industries, in the process becoming skilled in test automation for web and mobile applications and an advocate for embedding quality in software delivery practices. She loves all things testing.

19. Rhian Lewis

Contract test automation specialist


During a search for information on how to test blockchain, I discovered Lewis.

She has worked on projects for some of Europe's largest financial, leisure, and automotive brands. She is also the co-developer of the cryptocurrency portfolio tracker countmycrypto.com. Lewis also works as an independent blockchain consultant and runs the London Women in Bitcoin Meetup group. She is a regular speaker on all things blockchain-related, and runs training workshops for testers who are interested in this exciting and rapidly growing area.

20. Jonathan Lipps

Founder, Cloud Grey (Appium-related consultancy)


Lipps has been making things out of code as long as he can remember. Before founding Cloud Grey, he was director of open source at Sauce Labs. He has worked as a programmer in tech startups for over a decade but is also passionate about academic discussions.

Lipps started his own consulting company around Appium this year, and I expect him to grow it even bigger in 2019.

21. Diego Molina 

Senior software engineer, Element34


I met Molina at SauceCon last year and am I glad I did.

Molina specializes in test coaching and testing infrastructure and training, with the simple goal of helping people test better. He is one of the maintainers of the official Docker-Selenium project, and is also a co-creator of Zalenium, a dynamic Selenium grid. He spends most of his time developing Selenium-related solutions, working directly with customers and finding ways to do UI testing in a simpler way. He can often be found on the IRC/Slack channel for Selenium.

22. Omose Ogala

Software engineer in test, Twitter


Ogala is an up-and-coming test engineer. I've heard that he killed it at his first presentation on techniques for generating and managing test data at TestBash in San Francisco. He's definitely someone to keep an eye on in 2019.

23. Raghav Pal

 Self-employed automation test architect


Pal has more than nine years of experience in automation, testing, DevOps, and CI. He is also one of the more prolific content creators on this list and is the founder of the YouTube channel "Automation Step by Step" and writes a blog of the same name.

24. Corina Pip

Test and automation leading expert, Frequentis


Pip is a senior test automation consultant, focusing on testing by means of Java, Selenium, TestNG, Spring, Maven, and other cool frameworks and tools. Her previous endeavors include working on navigation devices and in the online gaming industry. She also publishes a weekly comic called "Stories in Testing" that's been giving me a chuckle.

25. Ioana (Finaru) Porcarasu

Lead QA engineer, Wealth Wizards


Porcarasu is an automation-in-test advocate. She is also a co-founder of the meetup group Women in Tech-Warwickshire, which unites and empowers women who work in, and have an interest in, technology. She has been doing a lot of work around testing microservices, and I expect to hear many of her learnings with regard to API testing in the coming year.

26. Amber Race

Senior software development engineer in test, Big Fish Games


Race is one of my go-to resources for API testing.

She has more than 15 years of testing experience at Big Fish and Microsoft, doing everything from manual application testing to tool development to writing automation frameworks for web services. She has worked on a wide variety of products and has written automation in C#, C++, Python, and Java.

Race currently specializes in test automation and performance testing for high-volume, back-end services supporting iOS and Android games.

27. Alan Richardson

Independent testing consultant and trainer


Richardson is well-known for his expertise in agile and in automated testing, as well as manual exploratory, technical, and performance testing. He is the author of Java for Testers, Dear Evil Tester, and Selenium Simplified, and is the creator of many online training courses.

Richardson is one of the first automation engineers I followed, and I still follow him to this day. He is constantly creating new education content in many different formats on how to succeed with testing.

28. Anna Royzman

Founder, A Quality Leadership Institute


Royzman's institute is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to become the leading advocate for quality in technology through innovative educational programs. A Quality Leadership Institute develops and supports programs such as Test Masters Academy, a provider of high-demand education in software testing and quality. Royzman is also an international conference speaker, organizer, and trainer.

29. Pooja Shah

Automation lead, MoEngage


Shah is an automation nerd and open-source enthusiast I learned about at SeleniumConf this year. She loves brainstorming and implementing crazy ideas to figure out ways to improve product quality. Possessing a blend of developer, QA, and DevOps mindsets, she strives to bridge the gaps between all teams to attain the desired results.

30. Christina Thalayasingam

Senior software QA automation engineer, SyscoLabs


Thalayasingam has several years of experience in both automated and manual testing. She also possesses strong skills in test automation with Selenium, and performance testing with JMeter. She comes from a development background, having worked on PHP Web and Android mobile development before taking on her current role at Zaizi, and was a speaker at SeleniumConfs 2016 and 2017. 

31. Peter Thomas

Full-stack engineer, Intuit 


Thomas loves building and mentoring technology teams. An avid open-source enthusiast, he created his first open-source project, "CB2XML," on SourceForge in 2004, which incredibly, still sees active releases by the current maintainers. His open-source API testing tool, Karate, is currently taking the testing world by storm. Expect him to reach new heights in 2019.

32. Mark Winteringham

Agile testing evangelist, Hindsight Software


Winteringham is a tester, coach, teacher, and international speaker, presenting workshops and talks on technical testing techniques. He has worked on award-winning projects across a wide variety of technology sectors. He has lots of experience working with various web, mobile, and desktop technologies. Winteringham is an expert in technical testing and test automation, as well as a passionate advocate of risk-based automation and automation in testing practices, which he blogs about at mwtestconsultancy.co.uk. He is also the co-founder of the Software Testing Clinic in London, a regular workshop for new and junior testers to receive free mentoring and lessons in software testing.

33. Kinga Witko 

Senior software tester, Capgemini


There are a lot of great testers in Poland. Witko is one of them. She is a professional quality evangelist, with an uncanny ability to ruin any "bug-proof" application. She is also a blogger and conference speaker who is interested in user experience and its implementation, with the goal of creating quality applications and an interest in agile software development. 

Witko is currently focused on accessibility testing and how to improve software to make it accessible for everyone.

[ Special Coverage: Automation Guild online conference ]

To learn more about test automation—and to hear what some of these experts have to say, attend my Automation Guild online conference, to be held Feb 4-6, 2019.

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