Lab Engineering Lead
Lab Engineering Lead
Interviewed by Sahra Möller
February 12th, 2020
Terry has had a long career (over 20 years) with Lloyds Banking Group with a proven delivery record in technical delivery roles and is currently Engineering Lead working in the Core Platforms area for Lloyds Banking Group.
Terry is experienced in managing large teams of engineers and delivering projects with offshore partners and has been working on DevOps concepts into the Group since 2016 and is a leader for the tools and methods that enable engineering transformation across the group. Under Terry’s leadership the team has won the Computing Best Automation project in 2018.
we.CONECT: From unit and integration tests to functional testing – How important is testing automation in context of DevOps for the finance industry and how will it evolve in the future?
Terry Marsh: Lloyds Banking Group aim to being the Best Bank for Customers. The bank is committed to maintaining services that are provided safely and completed to agreed standards. In order to meet this commitment effectively, applications are used for these services. The bank is required to ensure the quality of the applications and therefore test any type of change or maintenance to reduce the risk to customers.
During the 1970s to present day financial companies have used technology. Along with the external environment of companies merging or splitting this has led to banks in general having complex estates. Completing the testing manually across these estates creates lead time to making changes or applying maintenance.
By using automated testing, the duration to complete the same level of testing is hugely reduced. As the tests are scripted and consistently run it also improves consistency and quality of the testing. The script never misses a test script, or types in a value for the test incorrectly. By orchestrating the automation to create test data, run testing scripts and record all of the testing results for future reference and checking, complex estates are able to ensure the quality of changes at a faster pace.
The technology industries are already moving to reducing complex estates into more manageable units of applications and embracing digitization by using cloud providers. By setting up agreements between groups of applications so that changes can be made independently of other applications, the amount of testing that is required to be completed can be reduced while still controlling the risk of changes. By reducing the complexity of the changes it in turn enables the more agile approaches for maintenance and change.
we.CONECT: What were the most important drivers of the testing automation at Lloyds Banking – functionality, time to market, process optimization, security, customer experience, mostly cost, or something completely different?
Terry Marsh: At Lloyds Banking Group, customers at the heart of everything we do. Testing automation enables us to maintain and change applications and check that this is to a very high quality before it is released to be used by customers. At the same time it improves the speed at which changes can be made to keep improving the customers experience and functions. The fact that this enables the quality engineers to focus on more value adding tasks and reduces our costs of delivering change is an additional benefit.
we.CONECT: What is the major outcome of this initiative and what are the biggest improvements?
Terry Marsh: The major outcome of this initiative is the level of testing automation that has been achieved – over 85% of the tests that are completed to check the quality of the functions are completed using automated scripts for the testing phases that are required. This enables really quick feedback loops to the engineers to confirm whether more work is required or whether the product is ready for use. Once the functions are delivered to users it then enables the feedback loop to the feature teams to work on the next improvement to keep building the functions iteratively.
we.CONECT: What are your most important expectations for fintech:CODE 2020?
Terry Marsh: I have previously attended UK based Devops events and understanding other peoples challenges and how they overcome them has often given me insight about potential risks I might face as my teams devops journey matures, which then enables me to understand and assess the risk and where appropriate put in place mitigation to avoid these risks and learn from others experience. The Fintech:CODE 2020 is at a European level so I am expecting to be able to learn from other financial organizations that are at a similar or more mature level of Devops journey to help me understand the roadmap on where I want my team to be focusing strategically.