Test Infrastructure Architect

Closing date:
November 30, 2021
Reporting to:
Director of Technology

The Company

Operating out of our modern office in Bath, we offer an excellent package including a company bonus plan, share options, gym membership reimbursement and private health insurance. Flexible working arrangements are possible too.
We are an equal opportunities employer, welcoming applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.
Our product is innovative, and our culture focussed on people. Our people are our success. Come and be part of our unique company and take the next step in your career.

The Role

A Test Infrastructure Architect plays a vital role working with both the research and  engineering teams to design, build, manage and utilise network and server infrastructure required to underpin, validate and test product innovation.  Product innovation ranges from the evaluation of new and current software architecture and technologies to the validation of complex algorithms.  A Test Infrastructure Architect will have the ability to define an appropriate test strategy, including the design and implementation of any required tooling and the provisioning of any required network, server and application environments, operating and maintaining such tooling and environments, and the interpretation of the results to drive further refined and targeted testing.  A Test Infrastructure Architect must be proficient in a broad range of test strategies for both functional and non functional tests, including performance and chaos testing in a microservice environment.  The role could include designing and building test suites involving network components, both physical and virtual and will require thorough exploration of the inner workings of our product.

At the same time, a Test Infrastructure Architect is a subject matter expert of the Analytics Cloud and a system tester of large projects, ensuring quality from inception to delivery.

Key parts of the role are:

  • Evaluation of new technologies in terms of functional and non functional testing, and oversight of their integration into the Product.
  • Ability to test in complex service based architectures with a variety of tools and techniques.  Some of those tools require designing and developing to facilitate such testing.
  • Driving test strategies using a variety of network infrastructure and virtualised environments and associated tools.
  • Validation of new algorithms and capabilities through testing using a range of controlled network traffic conditions.
  • Working as an integral part of product development and research teams to ensure the product is built and tested to meet the specification and collaborating with stakeholders to demonstrate that this is so.
  • Working to ensure the software is built right, from algorithm\feature inception through to delivery in a continuous improvement and agile environment.

Key Responsibilities

  • Working as an integral part of the research team to test experimental enhancements in algorithms and capabilities, as they are defined during the research process.
  • Designing, creating and overseeing any necessary environments required (be they short lived or long running) for experimental testing and validation, including the selection and verification of tools required.
  • Design and execute tests across a variety of network infrastructures and configurations.
  • To feed datasets from tests into the more formal automated test scenarios.
  • Working closely with stakeholders, such as the CSO, CTO and the wider CTO Office, to ensure continuous validation of the innovation before and during development: building the right thing.
  • Feeding back findings in an appropriate form and accepting feedback from the team.
  • Collaborating with teams across Actual Experience, including UAT, Support, DevOps and Solutions Architects, both for setting up environments and ensuring realistic scenarios.
  • Documenting the network conditions and scenarios tested for each specific exploration, and any restrictions or limitations, to serve as information both for researchers and for other teams in Actual Experience.
  • Being able to focus anywhere from highly experimental testing to the production of lightweight agile test scenarios.
  • Perform system test duties as and when required by the business.
  • Writing and overseeing scenarios, advising on complex test issues, and ensuring tests remain aligned to specification; including exploring where the scenarios highlight issues with test approaches or reveal flaws in requirements. Additionally, helping to conduct testing to steer a project to conclusion.
  • Mentoring and training junior members of the team in best practices, methodologies and approach.
  • Keeping up to speed on process, practice and technology developments to ensure they are brought in-house and enhance the solutions applied to the testing problems.

Skills Profile

  • Thorough knowledge of how testing fits into an agile research and development life cycle, with an emphasis on approaches, tooling and culture.
  • Extensive experience of designing and maintaining lab environments, both physical and virtual.
  • Skilled in Python and other scripting languages.
  • Sufficient knowledge of maths and statistics.
  • Knowledge of the configuration of Virtual Machines and VPNs.
  • Knowledge of operating systems such as Linux Ubuntu or Mac.
  • Excellent practical working knowledge of network protocols, including ICMP, TCP, UDP, HTTP.
  • Excellent knowledge of IP, subnetting, vLANs, CIDR address ranges and ASNs.
  • Knowledge of network routing including Proxies and VPNs.
  • Knowledge of network emulation tools and techniques.
  • Knowledge of traffic generation, policing techniques and monitoring and a basic understanding of queueing theory.
Infrastructure Design:
  • Guiding and participating in the translation of requirements into test infrastructure to thoroughly validate an innovative approach.
  • Guiding the design of test architecture to validate complex algorithms.
  • Able to devise ways to simulate and measure network traffic.
  • Ability to report results intuitively using a variety of mathematical techniques such as statistics and regression analysis.
  • Expertise in undertaking and guiding exploratory testing.
Test Architecture:
  • Extensive knowledge of test automation and automation frameworks appropriate to the software under test.
  • Detailed understanding of approaches to testing global and large systems at scale.
  • Good working knowledge of how to analyse a system under test and how system architecture can influence a test approach.
  • Allowing the output (captured data) to be later integrated into more formal testing, such as repeatable BDD.
Agile knowledge:
  • Providing clear and timely updates to management as required. 
  • Working collaboratively in the research team.
  • Ability to adapt a methodology, both as a result of learning and to provide value early, splitting into phases where necessary.
  • Visibly tracking own work in the management systems so that targets and aims are clear.
Product Knowledge:
  • Experience of high throughput SaaS systems handling thousands of data points a second from thousands of IoT devices.  Familiar with BDD testing of RESTful JSON APIs.  Ability to broadly understand the microservice AWS based system architecture to target appropriate testing for both functional and non-functional verification, including assessing the scalability of the platform.
  • Good understanding of how to test the system and the algorithms and to prioritise those tests to burn down risk.
  • Good understanding of how the UI operates and how to interact with and test it.
  • A key and reliable player in both the research team and development.
  • Confident in giving and receiving feedback in team situations, to those at many levels of the business.
  • Adaptable in different situations and working with different people.
  • Constructive and amenable.
  • Providing mentoring and support to more junior members of staff to develop their expertise.
  • Acting as an example to less senior members of the team showing how testers operate in an agile environment.
  • Seeing development of junior talent as a priority.
  • Ensuring collaboration to attain a positive outcome.
  • Providing clear and concise written and verbal communication.
  • Active listening: assimilating and constructively responding to the team’s
  • ideas.
  • Using good communication skills to foster collaboration.
  • Able to adjust communication styles to suit the audience.
  • Able to control difficult situations, positively resolving conflict and guiding agreement.

Other Key Skills & Requirements

  • Flexible and willing to take on a variety of tasks.
  • Must be eligible to work in the UK.

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