Upskill Software Engineers in Test Automation to greatly Boost Productivity

A simple, effective and should-have-been method to greatly increase software engineers’ productivity and morale.

Zhimin Zhan
8 min readMay 19, 2022


Table of Contents:
· Hiring good IT engineers is getting hard
· Understand Software Engineer’s Productivity
· Why Test Automation makes a better programmer?
· My Productivity Gain after mastering Test Automation and CT
· Reality Check
· How?

Hiring good IT engineers is getting hard

Last week, I saw an alarming headline.

Excerpt from The full article (

Tech companies — including the likes of Amazon, Google, Atlassian and Canva — are paying between $147,000 and $350,000 for graduates, with some salaries including stock options and end-of-year bonuses, according to data obtained by The Australian.

From a reliable source, I can confirm that ~A$150K for new graduates is true.

The reasons for such a high salary (even for graduates) might be due to the impact of Covid: higher demand for technologies, fewer intakes of skilled migrants, …, etc.

Money-wise, I don’t believe a medium-sized company can afford to match up with those large tech companies. Here I would like to share a different perspective for small or medium-sized companies that are struggling to keep or hire good IT engineers.

Let’s start with a single question for IT executives: “What is the fundamental reason that you want to hire more IT engineers?” Many would probably say: “To meet the demand of the work.” No, if you think deeper, it is not.

Suppose that you have 10 engineers. Based on some magic formula, you are advised that 20 more engineers are needed to fulfil the upcoming work. Without them, the company is most likely to lose the contract.

Now you look at the job market and come to realise that it is hard to hire a good IT graduate (purely based on academic records or job interview)…



Zhimin Zhan

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