The Israeli Gamer Behind an Army of Automated Tests
CTech – ID
Name: Daniel Lewinski
Where do you live: Kfar Saba
Company: Redis Labs
Position: Web test automation developer
For a Starter
What is so special about what you do: As automation developers, we write extensive automation tests that replace the Sisyphean task of running manual testings for Redis Labs’ product. Redis Labs develops and sells data management software and cloud services that cut down applications’ response time. After every change in the product, we need to test it to make sure nothing got broken. Doing manual testing is exhausting and inefficient, so we write automated tests that do the heavy lifting for us. This way, we can give a thorough answer after every minor change. Think about it like this: we write a program that enables pushing a button and launching a whole army of automated tests that check a specific piece of the changed product.
I started working as a manual tester about five years ago and found myself connecting to the aspects of code writing and automated tests. It started with me enjoying writing code and then understanding the potential of writing automated tests and how much time they can save. I understood how it could make my life easier, so I wrote more and more code and honed my skills.
What do you enjoy the most in your work: When you work at automation, you still deal with manual testing every now and then. You still write manual testing programs, and every automated testing still must include a manual aspect; there is no running away from it. Personally, I prefer writing the code for automated tests, the more challenging the task, the better. I especially enjoy rising to the challenge of taking a feature request and wielding it to life as an automated test.
What I love about working at Redis Labs is that they show they care about the employees. They send us stuff home, there are happy hours, and there was a company trip to the desert a few weeks ago. But more than that, as a relatively new employee, I feel I am always assisted and guided by my managers and co-workers. There are weekly and periodic meetings, and I know my team lead’s door is always open whenever I need him.
What do you like about working for Redis Labs: Redis Labs encourages personal and professional development. We have quarterly team projects dedicated to coming up with new techniques and tools to learn. These projects give you time to learn skills you don’t use in your daily work. Another aspect is the way the organization is attentive to our ideas and suggestions. For example, I worked with java and selenium in the past, and upon arriving at Redis Labs, I shifted to testcafe and typescript. So in our weekly meetings, my team lead usually asks me if I have ideas for things we can do differently or with alternative technologies. There is a lot of room to be innovative, to learn, and to suggest new ideas.
Redis Labs are also very flexible towards our needs and time constraints as employees. They don’t mind if you need to log off in the middle of the day to pick up your kids or due to personal issues, and they trust you to find the time to make up for it. There is a strong sentiment that what matters is doing the job and not fixating on the hours of work.
Preference —working from Home / Office / Hybrid: I prefer working from home and have mostly done so since starting at Redis Labs last year during the Covid-19 crisis. The commute to the office in Tel Aviv and back wastes approximately two hours of my day. During Covid, I realized commuting makes me much more tired at the end of the day than investing the same time working from home. Redis Labs are very flexible regarding working from home or office and don’t insist we arrive at all to the office as long as the work is done. Employees who wish to come to the office can register and do so, and some do it daily. Even I chose to go to the office a few times in recent months, but not too much. As long as there won’t be a dramatic rise in morbidity rates, the current policy is supposed to stay in place until September, and then we are supposed to shift gradually to a hybrid work model.
What did you want to do when you grow up: In the 12th grade, when they asked us to write on a piece of paper where we see ourselves in 10 years, I think I wrote I imagine myself in some skyscraper, and that’s more or less what happened. At least in theory, because I work mainly from home (laughs).
I usually start working a bit after 09:00, most days from home. Redis Labs were very flexible about working from home during Covid-19, and I prefer it, as commuting by train from Kfar Saba to the office in Tel Aviv takes about an hour in each direction.
I have a first daily meeting in which each member of my team gives an update on their tasks. At 10:45, I have a second, different daily meeting, after which I begin working on my main tasks.
Around this time, I usually take a break for lunch. Since there aren’t that many tempting food delivery options around Kfar Saba, some days I order in, and others I make food for myself. After lunch, I go back to work on my tasks.
I finish work and usually enjoy a bit of gaming time before my wife returns home.
My wife returns from her work, and we enjoy our evening together, eating dinner and watching TV or movies.
What do you do in your spare time: I enjoy video games. There were years I was more of a heavy gamer, mostly in high school and during and after my military service, but it is still a big part of me. I think everybody needs some sort of personal leisure activity, and this is mine. I have been playing World of Warcraft (WoW) on and off for the last 15 years. There were times I played other games like Diablo, but during Covid, I returned heavily to WoW. It’s a game that is easy to return to because I am familiar with it and love it. It also holds a robust Israeli community. A few weeks ago, we had a community gathering in a gaming bar in Tel Aviv and had a decent showing of about 50 people. I hold a manager position at the Kyphosis guild, which is part of the horde. I dedicate two evenings every week to raids: We all “meet up” and go kill bosses from almost 20:00 up until midnight.
Apple or Android: I use Android as I like the freedom it entails. It feels as if Apple puts you in a mold of doing things their way and with their tools, and that’s not me.
What type of music do you listen to: I am very versatile, and I like a lot of Israeli music, ADM, soft rock, house. I can even enjoy some hard trance tracks now and then.