Schedule an appointment

Let's talk about test... Thomas Jansen

April 14, 2022
Photo by Thomas Janssen

Thomas Jansen, Test Coordinator.

In this blog series, we speak with testing professionals from various industries. At Testersuite , we like to hear the diverse views on testing and what makes a test professional tick.

In this edition of Let's Talk About Test, meet Thomas JansenTest coordinator at Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital.

"Risk-based testing is really a godsend."

Heads up: Who is Thomas?

I am Thomas and will be forty this year. Together with my wife, I have a 7-week-old son who goes by the name of Abel. We live in Breda but have just bought a new house here. We will get the keys next week. So we will have to switch gears in the near future with moving and a newborn child.

It all went fast anyway. Within a year, a wife, a child, a house and a car. My wife and I are colleagues and our son is the first ICT baby in our hospital. And all that just before I turned forty.

Did you want to become a test manager in primary school?

No, that wasn't in the cards at the time. But I was always busy with exact things. Because I am very precise in how things are said, I was advised to become a lawyer. My preference, however, was for an FBI agent or a Ninja. But that was not very realistic.

How was your schooling?

Because of my attitude and commitment, I went from vwo to mavo. That was not funny. When I wanted to go on to havo, the school didn't want me to do it. So I went to MBO.

Because I was still very young, I subsequently went on to study at university. At the time, I had a part-time job in a computer shop, which put me on the track to IT. So it became a bachelor's degree in informatics and information science. This brings you into contact with both technology and business. So you become an all-rounder. I have broad interests, so that suited me fine.  

How did you get into the testing business?

By accident, like everyone else. It started with making a functional design for an absence application. I liked that, but I wanted more customer contact. So I ended up in IT support at Tilburg University. It was a step backwards, but eventually I developed into an all-round IT person.

At the time, my supervisor transferred to ETZ. Two years later, they were looking for a test coordinator and so we got talking again.

They were looking for someone with a helicopter view but who can also go into depth, is analytical and has integrity, can report and can work solo. All of that fits well with me and so I got the job.

At ETZ I had the opportunity to work with Jasper Snels, who implemented the EPD system EPIC. Jasper introduced me to the testing profession. He had gained a lot of experience with EPIC and testing it at Radboudumc and also knew ETZ inside out. That was ideal for me.

I was also thrown in at the deep end because we immediately went up to a major version of EPIC. That was a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun.

"You have to get rid of islands."

What do you consider to be the challenges of a test coordinator?

Based on my own experience, it is about connecting people and getting them on board. You have to get rid of islands. People need to see and experience the usefulness of testing.

It is important that you connect parties. You often see that everyone does their own part and leaves. As a test coordinator, you soon find yourself sitting around the table with several parties, one not knowing what the other is doing. As a test coordinator, you are in the middle. Then you have to find out how to connect the links. That is what I am looking for.

Is that necessary?

Yes, definitely. There are quite a few applications in the hospital that have no functional management but are critical for business operations. Here you miss someone with the overview. By connecting them to each other in the test process, you see that they deal with updates more confidently. That gives a good feeling to a department like that.

Do you have an example?

The ultrasound software in the mother and child department does not really have a functional manager. There are system owners, but you lack someone who knows all the ins and outs.

There are many such applications. It is often difficult to appoint someone for them. That is also typical of healthcare applications. It is a challenge, but that makes it fun.

Is there no other way to go about this?

There is too little FTE to have someone permanently managing such applications. There is always someone who is interested and benefits from it, but knowing how it works one hundred percent is often not the case.

"Risk-based testing is our strategy."

How do you deal with this in practice?

Asking lots of questions and thinking along. What if we do this, what if we do that, what can you do, what can someone else do and do we need more people?

We are always looking for where is the big risk? Risk-based testing is our strategy. During the risk inventory, the conversations about where the risks lie and how big they are come loose. Then you see departments suddenly understand how they work. As a result, people start to understand why we test and for what purpose.

By focusing on the highest risks, we can also work faster. Less important things then get left behind. We then make choices based on them.

What milestones have you achieved at ETZ?

We are now to the point where, in a manner of speaking, I can go on holiday during a quarterly update of EPIC because everyone knows what to do.

It is actually a managed process now. So well, in fact, that we have taken it out of the project sphere and have now put it under the release coordinator.

What problem does Testersuite solve for you?

The defects registration and reporting is better ensured, simpler and more transparent.

Previously, we worked with tickets that had to go from one system to another. In Testersuite , everything is registered centrally. Now we no longer have to search through numerous different systems to find everything together. That saves an enormous amount of time.

In addition, the ET (exploratory-testing) app in Testersuite is really a godsend for us. It saves a lot of time and also the goodwill of testers. We have very many testers from the business who need to be able to test quickly, easily and in a pleasant way. The ET app works very nicely for that.

What test challenges does ETZ still face?

We have a very large set of administrators on the EHR. They should all know how to create test cases and test scenarios in Testersuite. That's still a job.  

We have the processes very clear but no owners of the processes yet. That makes it difficult to roll out Testersuite all at once. We have done this with one team and it is going well. Now we are doing this with the next team. I'm happy how things are going now, though.

Meanwhile, other projects have come in that we can help just fine with the environments functionality in Testersuite . I want them to do this in a structured way according to a certain methodology. That means I wanted to keep them separate from EHR testing. With the environments functionality of Testersuite , this is easy to manage.

We have now registered 700 defectson these projects, 300 of which were registered in the first week.

A critical question from the Testersuite team. Where do you see opportunity for improvement?

They are mainly wishes. I would like to see more variable options when importing new users into different environments.

I would like the comment lines at defectsto have more of a chat character. With more than 700 defectsit would be nice.

What does the future look like for the test coordinator?

I think there is a growing demand for it because the number of certifications is only increasing. That also applies to audits. You need hands to supervise this properly. This all needs to be coordinated.

"...make people think very carefully about what needs to be tested...".

What is your advice to other test managers?

Risk-based testing is a real godsend. It is an easy way to make people think about what needs to be tested, even though they sometimes have limited information about what the changes are. EPIC also encourages this more and more.

It gives people an insight into what they are doing.  

Anything else you want to say?

I really like the customer days at Testersuite . It is nice that Testersuite gives an insight into the roadmap. In addition, you are not afraid to ask customers for feedback on whether new features to be developed make sense.

Your way of communicating with customers was the reason for us to partner with Testersuite .

Let's talk?

Do you have interesting experiences in the testing profession that you would like to share? Let's talk!

Do you also want to test better and smarter?

Discover our easy-to-use cloud products
Testersuite uses cookies. Please indicate which cookies you accept. View our Privacy Statement for more information.