I have learned a lot about Selenium by reading Selenium Guidebook, and then spending over two years writing tests, researching issues, and finding ways of doing complex things. I have tests that are parameterized for data driven, tests that are parallelized, and complex Jenkins jobs.

My team recently merged with another team, and the QA from that team knows perhaps a third of what I know. My boss has asked us to work together on our collective test frameworks. I have been pairing with the QA weekly, and during those meetings, I have been explaining things like how to use environment variables, how to structure the project(s) using Page Objects model, etc - things I feel are very elementary.

I mentioned several times to him that our organization has access to the Selenium Guidebook and recommended that he step through the book.

The QA is excellent at marketing himself as an expert, but when we work together, this is clearly not the case. He has been very passionate about advocating that we change our test architecture (from junit to testng) or that we should use Maven to encrypt sensitive data (instead of using env variables). I wouldn't want his advice to create unnecessary work.

Should I mention this to our boss? Would that be seen as tattling? Am I wrong to expect a team member to do their own learning before leaning on me? Should I cancel further meetings with him until he has completed some self-study?


1 Answer 1


I wouldn't want his advice to be create unnecessary work.

First of all I would ask your mate to give me a vision on what would be the value of the changes, since Maven or TestNG vs JUnit issues are not the ones which might be cleared out using Selenium Guidebook, since Selenium is mostly about interaction with UI, and Maven and unit-test frameworks are mostly about execution environment. It might turn out that the changes are worth introducing.

Should I cancel further meetings with him until he has completed some self-study?

Don't even think about this. Use the meetings to bring his knowledge in line with yours. You have to work together and both of you have to elaborate the effective ways of delivering value to your company

The guy is excellent at marketing himself as an expert

Take him over to your side. Use his "marketing" skills to advocate the changes you think are good to be introduced in the company processes. Give in to some of his ideas so that he would accept some of yours.

Should I mention this to our boss?

I wouldn't unless there is a real risk of not delivering some critical feature. Don't give your boss another headache. Better suggest your boss that you take a leadership in the test automation. Say that there are different opinions and there should be one person who can consolidate all of them.

Am I wrong to expect a team member to do their own learning before leaning on me?

Having no knowledge does not let you understand what level of knowledge would be sufficient for the job. So a more junior developer might consider that the level of knowledge they have is enough. You, however, with more experience, can provide leadership (again). This might also help give you career a kick.

  • 2
    removed some of the 'man' stuff to make it more gender neutral so applies to more situations for others and also to reduce unnecessary gender references which may bother some. Apr 19, 2018 at 16:58
  • 1
    Yup, thanks Michael! I was thinking about that, however my English is far not perfect :) I though that "a man" can be used in the meaning of "one person".
    – Alexey R.
    Apr 19, 2018 at 17:00
  • Wow! Great advice regarding Maven, TestNG, JUnit, and more bees with honey! lol @AlexeyR Apr 19, 2018 at 19:07
  • 1
    The answer to this question did demand a lot of thoughtfulness and wisdom. Really liked the way you answered it, Alexey. Awesome!
    – Aalok
    Apr 19, 2018 at 23:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.