Top 16 Influencers and Thought Leaders in Test Automation

Influencers and thought leaders in Testing Automation are shaping the discourse of today’s quality assurance.

By providing tools, practices and ideas driving effective implementation of Agile, Continuous Deployment & DevOps, the following 16 influencers and thought leaders offer great impetus of innovation for organizations embracing these movements beyond the apparent hype.

List appears in alphabetical order 

Richard Bradshaw

Director, Friendly Testing

@FriendlyTester || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: Richard is a context driven tester who is very active in the testing community as the alias The Friendly Tester.
He has spoken at some of the biggest testers’ conferences, including Conference for the Association of Software Testing (CAST), Agile Testing Days, Belgium Testing Days and many more. He has also done several lightning talks at the Selenium Conference (London and Boston), and has organised several meetups in UK, and is a co-organiser of the Midlands Exploratory Workshop on Testing (MEWT). Richard is a huge fan of automation, but the tester supporting type not the mythical tester replacement type.

You can catch Richard at the next TestBash 2015, where he’ll be speaking about “Automation in Testing”.

David Burns

Core Committer, Selenium; Engineer Manager [Automation & Tools Team], Mozilla

@AutomatedTester || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: David is an engineering manager at Mozilla and a core member of the Selenium Project. David is the lead on the Python implementation of the Selenium Project. David is also the editor of the W3C WebDriver specification and driving the implementation of the specification within Firefox. David has also written and published a number of books on Selenium.

David is also responsible for this gem of a tweet, which is one of our favourites.

Dominik Dary

Creator of Selendroid; Engineering Manager, Adobe Hamburg

@dominikdary || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: Dominik, the creator of Selendroid, is a recognized expert in Test Engineering and Automation. He travels around the world to speak at notable conferences, including the Google Test Automation Conference 2014 at Kirkland, Washington. He has published numerous articles about test automation, including Mobile Test Automation with Selendroid and functional GUI testing with the FEST framework. Dominik works at Adobe Hamburg as Engineering Manager (Chapter Lead Quality), where he is part of the Shared Cloud team.

Jim Evans

Core committer for Selenium; Lead Member of Technical Staff, Salesforce.com

@jimevansmusic || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: With over 20 years of experience in the computer industry, and with over 15 years in software testing, Jim is an expert at automated software testing. He has developed in-house frameworks for test automation, and contributed to open-source testing tools, most notably Selenium. Jim started working with the WebDriver and Selenium since the end of 2009, working mostly on the .NET bindings. His test automation experience includes 12 years at Microsoft, 7 years as a Senior QA Engineer at Numara Software, and he is currently working at Salesforce as Lead Member of Technical Staff.

Dave Haeffner

Chief Arrgonaut, Arrgyle

@TourDeDave || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: Dave is the writer of Elemental Selenium – a free, once weekly Selenium tip newsletter read by thousands of testing professionals. He’s also the creator and maintainer of ChemistryKit (an open-source Selenium framework), and author of The Selenium Guidebook.
He’s helped numerous companies successfully implement automated acceptance testing; including The Motley Fool, ManTech International, Sittercity, Animoto, and Aquent.
He’s also a founder/co-organizer of the Selenium Hangout, and has spoken at numerous conferences and meet-ups about automated acceptance testing.
We especially like the way he describes his current job at Arrgyle:
“Helping people learn how to test software better”.

Jason Huggins

Creator, Selenium Software; Co-Founder, Sauce Labs

@hugs || LinkedIn

Bio: Jason pioneered the Selenium software testing framework as an internal solution at ThoughtWorks. Prior to launching Sauce Labs, Jason scaled test automation of Google Web applications. He is a keen observer on the latest developments and future of testing automation.
Jason is the co-creator of Selenium Core, Creator of Selenium Ice (IE browser extension), Committer on Selenium Core and Selenium Remote Control, and has been involved since 2004 (prototyped the original version of what became Selenium Core).

Jonathan Lipps

Appium Architect & Project Lead; Director of Ecosystem & Integrations, Sauce Labs

@jlipps || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: Jonathan is a Web development specialist with a diverse set of interests, ranging from technology to philosophy to athletics. His specialties range the full stack of web development technologies, from front-end to back-end to framework development to systems administration.
As Director of Ecosystem & Integrations at Sauce Labs, he worked on many aspects of the architecture of Sauce’s web and mobile testing cloud, from backend infrastructure (Python) to frontend interactivity (JavaScript).
In addition, Jonathan has contributed to number of open source projects, most notably Appium – where he’s he architect and project lead. He has also appeared at many conferences and meetups worldwide, mainly speaking about automated web and mobile app testing. Links to his presentations can be found on his blog.
Jonathan has co-founded 2 companies: Comendi and Backlight, and maintains a few projects.

Diego Lo Giudice

Vice President and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

@dlogiudice || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: Diego brings 28 years of experience in developing the research agenda on application development and delivery best practices, covering topics such as Agile and DevOps transformation with a focus on software testing and quality. He is part of a global senior analyst research team at Forrester that develops the research agenda and content on best practices and market technology trends for Business Technology (BT) and Technology Industry Application development and program management professionals, and he advises senior BT leaders of Forrester clients worldwide, helping them be more successful in their daily job.
Diego is also a speaker at conferences, and prior to joining Forrester, he was manager for large software enterprises, including managing and developing SW technology innovation program (middleware, dev tools & methods) for large IT organizations.

Thomas E. Murphy

Research Director, Gartner

@metamurph || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: Thomas Murphy is focused on IT organizations develop and deliver software in an efficient and effective fashion. He covers all phases of the life-cycle from requirements through software quality and testing. He is particularly interested in collaborative and agile practices and how organizations must use these to adapt to the increasing pace of change demanded by business to utilize cloud, and mobile technologies.
Thomas has also held positions at Microsoft, ObjectShare, ParcPlace, Digitalk, and Miller Freeman, and with 30 years of experience in marketing, market analysis and product development, Thomas advises senior IT professionals in developing and delivering software solutions efficiently and effectively. Thomas focuses on software quality and testing in Agile, DevOps and Software-Oriented Architecture environments.

Alan Page

Software Engineer, Microsoft

@alanpage || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: Alan has tested all of the interesting stuff Microsoft produces: Windows, Internet Explorer, Lync and Xbox, and likes to share his learnings and key insights across the social media, through his vast published works and speaking at conferences.
Alan has been a software tester for nearly 20 years. He was the lead author on the book “How We Test Software at Microsoft”, contributed chapters for “Beautiful Testing and Experiences of Test Automation: Case Studies of Software Test Automation”. He also writes about a variety of software engineering subjects (and other assorted rants) on his blog, and elsewhere on the internet.
Alan joined Microsoft as a member of the Windows 95 team, and served for over two years as Microsoft’s Director of Test Excellence. Currently a Principal Software Design Engineer in Test (SDET) on the Xbox team, Alan spends his time designing and implementing test infrastructure and tests; and coaching and mentoring testers and test managers across the Xbox organization. Alan also leads company-wide quality and testing focused communities made up of senior engineering employees.

Julie Ralph

Lead Developer, Protractor for AngularJS; Software Engineer in Test, Google

@SomeJulie || LinkedIn

Bio: Julie brings youthful energy to the testing automation industry segment, with notable contributions to Protractor – the Angular testing framework as well as speaking at global conferences to help make end-to-end testing painless.

Alan Richardson

Independent Test Consultant & Trainer in Selenium

@EvilTester || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: Alan empowers businesses with the knowledge and consultancy they need to improve and automate application testing using the Selenium software suite. His book, “Selenium Simplified” (now in its 2nd edition) is a notable contribution to the industry; helping non-technical testers learn the basics of programming and automation with Selenium-RC. Alan also authored “Java For Testers”, aimed at teaching testers to code.
Alan is an experienced software professional working as an independent consultant with a focus on software testing. He has previously worked at all levels of the testing role hierarchy (Head of Testing, Test Manager, Test Lead and Test Analyst), and has helped companies start with, and improve, automated web testing using Selenium WebDriver. In addition, Alan has created online training courses for self-study training in WebDriver and Technical Web Testing.
Alan expertise range beyond test automation, to include also Agile and Exploratory Testing, with experience ranging from functional testing through to performance testing, using local and cloud based tools, all in order to communicate progress, track coverage and demonstrate actual testing performed.

Simon Stewart

Core Contributor, Selenium; Software Engineer, Facebook

@shs96c || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: Simon has mastered browser automation with Selenium WebDriver projects at Google, currently applies his learnings at Facebook. As one of the lead developers of the Selenium project and core committer to the open source community, Simon envisions end-to-end testing automation of Web apps with advice on Selenium 2.
The original developer of the WebDriver, Simon is one of the lead contributors to Selenium, focusing on Selenium 2, as well as co-editor of the W3C webdriver spec. While working at Google he was the Tech Lead of the Web Testing team (later Browser Automation), which was responsible for delivering APIs and infrastructure for use by all Googlers involved with web development, and his primary focus was on browser automation, in particular working on the Open Source Selenium and WebDriver projects.

Noah Sussman

Distinguished Engineer at HedgeServ

@noahsussman || Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: Sussman is on a mission to help understand the nuances of software quality assurance automation in context of DevOps practices. His 20 year contribution to the IT industry has helped him shape himself into a Programmer-Archaeologist solving problems with applied Techno-Cultural Anthropology.
In his role as consultant for companies, such as: Viacom, RR Donnolley, and Betterment, Noah has helped solve front-end architecture problems and design infrastructure for automated testing and continuous integration (CI), he carried out technical assessment of organizations undergoing Agile transitions, provided automation insights to a highly sophisticated engineering teams facing next-generation challenges in devops– and the list goes on.
Noah is a long-time volunteer at the Wikimedia Foundation, promoting Wikipedia’s CI; he frequently speaks at conferences and events (links to his lectures can be found on his LinkedIn profile), and his “Falsehoods About Time” is definitely one our favourite posts.

Andreas Tolfsen

Core Committer, Selenium; Software Developer, Mozilla

@tolfsen || Blog

Bio: Andreas Tolfsen works for Mozilla on the code used to automate and help develop Firefox and Firefox OS. He has worked on several WebDriver implementations, including Marionette and OperaDriver. Previously he lead the infrastructure team at Opera. He also holds a BA in Musicology from the University of Oslo.
Andreas is a core committer for Selenium WebDriver, and has been involved with the project since 2009.

Nathan Wilson

Research Director, Gartner

Blog || LinkedIn

Bio: Nathan is an Industry Analyst covering Software Development Methodologies (with a focus on Agile and Lean) and Software testing, advising to IT leaders on automated, continuous and integrated test techniques to enable true DevOps approach.
His hands-on experience, spanning 3 decades, in architecting solutions, developing software and managing software development projects, enables him to provide valuable insights on processes aimed at improving software quality via the management of technical debt, integrated test and continuous, automated test techniques.

Got someone to add? Did we miss anyone important? Please add your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below.

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