New Head of Automation at 2i Testing reveals testing triumph

Lee Crossley speaks exclusively with Software Testing News to celebrate his new job role from Head of Test at JP Morgan (Mobile CoE) to Head of Automation at 2i Testing

Crossley began his career life testing for a company called McQueen where he used to test software for Adobe, which was more than 20 years ago now. He then decided he wanted to explore the world, before finding his way back to testing 10 years ago. Realising testing had come along way in his absence and that there was now a qualification (ISEB and ISTQ), he managed to convince a recruiter to take a chance on him and was successful within his interview for a company called Vebnet.

Crossley continued: “I then stayed at Vebnet for around 2 years before moving on to work for a vendor who got me on site within the financial industry, which led me to get an interview with Barclays, which is where the game changed for me (by this point I had two children now in the team, Brodie and Archie).”

The European Software Testing Awards

He then started on a voice biometrics project back in 2012 and inherited an archaic toolset. Over time, he then created a new test approach called Iterative Rapid Testing, which won The European Software Testing Award for Best Test Project in Finance Europe, which opened him up to being mentored.

Crossley continued: “Winning an award at The European Software Testing News also led me to my previous role as the Head of Test at JP Morgans’ Mobile Centre of Excellence (a great team that I was sad to leave behind), and I can honestly say I’ve never learnt so much from one role.

“In my first two months, I managed to secure an informal mentor in the shape of the Chief Development Officer for 280k people (a vendor identified him as a potential mentor, having worked with him in the past). Upon finding this out, my boss almost fell off his seat.

Challenges faced

“To enhance my presentation skills, my boss at JP Morgan advised me to speak, which I did, so I found myself presenting at the Scottish Testing Group, Open London, QA Financial and Ministry of Testing. I did my first ever Key Note speech at Test Conference North last September.”

Crossley then moved from JP Morgan to 2i Testing to advance his career, which he feels has been the right choice.

“The only constant in my life over the last 20 years has been changed, so I’m now in a state of being fully able to embrace change (it’s never easy though). I’ve actually been in discussions with 2i for about 18 months now, so this wasn’t a position I was approaching lightly but I needed to make sure that JPs mobile QA function was future proofed before I left (there’s a great team in place now and I look forward to seeing what they do next),” added Crossley.

“This move is probably one of the toughest challenges I’ve faced in my career to date, and that’s why I wanted it. The variety and rate of change is staggering and suits my style of working.”

Agile transformations

Since becoming the Head of Automation at 2i testing, he has been working on an agile transformation with one of the world’s biggest investment banks. His main focus for the future is to keep enabling agility across his clients’ sites, with full end-to-end automation in mind. He believes automation tightly coupled with development will continue to change the scope of software testing within the next five years.

Once the accessibility movement really hits all industries, the automation of automation (machine learning) will start to move at a fast pace as developers will be mandated to add labels and hooks into their apps making automation a lot easier and enabling machine learning. The focus will then be on where else can we win, and for me, it’s about owning every aspect of our data using service virtualisation and scalable virtual infrastructure,” revealed Crossley.

He also noted that he finds taking a test function from chaos to a fully collaborative, transparent and streamlined test function satisfying, and takes comfort in seeing teams realising the art of the possible.

Written by Leah Alger