Chinese Idiom Stories for Software Professionals: #16 Complementing Each Other (相辅相成)

Mastering two complementing skills makes impossible tasks much easier.

Zhimin Zhan
5 min readMay 14, 2022


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This article is one of the “Chinese Idiom Stories for Software Professionals” series.


Once upon a time, a man bragged about his bow: “There is no bow better than mine. It doesn’t need any arrow!”

Another man bragged about his arrow: “There is no arrow better than mine. It doesn’t need any bow!”

At that time, a man good at archery happened to pass by and heard their dialogue. He said: “You are both wrong. One cannot shoot an arrow without a bow; and without an arrow, how can one hit the target?”

Thereupon, the man good at archery asked them to take out their bow and arrow. Then he showed them how to shoot at the target with both the bow and arrow.

Now they understood: A bow won’t do without an arrow; nor an arrow without a bow.


Complement each other, Complete each other.

Examples in IT

Test Automation and Continuous Testing are often considered two separate activities. One proof is that two different job titles: Test Automation Engineer and DevOps (or CI/CD) Engineer.

While CI/CD is listed in some automated tester’s selection criteria, its scope is more a just familiar with CI/CD process. By the way, as far as functional testers’ concern, it is Continuous Testing, not CI/CD.

For me, Test Automation and Continuous Testing are integrated skillsets for a real Test Automation Engineer. I created TestWise (a functional testing IDE) and BuildWise (an international award-winning Continuous Testing server). OK, my example might be an extreme case. But you probably see the absolute need for me to get both working.

A real Test Automation engineer must be comfortable with

  • Developing automated End-to-End UI test scripts
  • Refactoring automated tests to be more reliable, readable and flexible.
  • Maintaining all automated End-to-End tests as…



Zhimin Zhan

Test automation & CT coach, author, speaker and award-winning software developer. Help teams succeed with Agile/DevOps by implementing real Continuous Testing.

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