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The Career Journey of Test Automation Expert Bas Dijkstra

Hi everyone, this is the career journey of Bas Dijkstra, a Test Automation Consultant and Trainer.

Bas has a background in Computer Science, which was quite rare when he began his career in Software Testing back in 2006. He joined a well-known consultancy firm in the Netherlands alongside 25 other young professionals, but only two of them, including Bas, had studied Computer Science.

While many in that group became excellent testers, Bas’s Computer Science degree led him to focus on test automation early in his career. He found the mix of software testing and development fascinating and never looked back or considered anything else since.

In the earlier years of his career, he was mostly contracted out to companies by his employers, which means he has had the opportunity to work with many different companies in the Netherlands, in all kinds of sectors. His task, mostly, was the same: help build out the test automation. In those days, that often meant 'automate as many of the regression tests as you can'. Not the best approach, in hindsight, but that's a completely different story.

After eight years, Bas felt something was missing. Though successful, he was bored with being just a Test Automation Engineer. He had learned much about automation and wanted to share his knowledge by writing, speaking at conferences, running workshops, and teaching others.

By that time, Bas had gained significant insights into the world of test automation. He had learned what it takes to implement automation effectively, recognizing the best practices and strategies for success. Equally important, he discovered the common pitfalls and mistakes that can hinder automation efforts. This knowledge came from his own experiences, including both successful projects and those that didn't go as planned.

Realizing the value of his accumulated knowledge, Bas felt a strong desire to share what he had learned with others. He wanted to help fellow professionals avoid the mistakes he had made and adopt the best practices he had discovered. This desire to educate and mentor others led him to explore various avenues for sharing his expertise.

Bas began writing articles, documenting his experiences and insights into test automation. He also started speaking at industry conferences, where he could reach a broader audience and engage with other experts in the field. Additionally, he developed and ran workshops, providing hands-on training to help others improve their test automation skills.

Furthermore, Bas found joy in teaching, and guiding individuals and teams through the complexities of test automation. By sharing his knowledge and experiences, he aimed to equip others with the tools and understanding they needed to succeed in their automation efforts without repeating the same errors he had encountered.

This shift from being a test automation engineer to a mentor and educator marked a significant transition in Bas’s career. It allowed him to have a more profound impact on the industry and contribute to the professional growth of others, which he found immensely fulfilling.

Lacking the freedom to do this while employed full-time, he became an independent consultant. In the first couple of years, he still mostly worked with clients as a Test Automation Engineer, but gradually, that shifted to less time spent as an individual contributor in a development team and more time working on the things he liked to do best: helping others, that is individuals, teams and organizations, do better when it comes to test automation.

Bas writes and teaches mainly about API testing and contract testing but also covers other tools and techniques like mutation testing, Behaviour-Driven Development, and general object-oriented programming principles.

The best part of Bas’s current work is the freedom it offers. As an independent consultant, he has the flexibility to choose which projects he takes on, allowing him to work on topics and challenges that truly interest him. He can also set his own schedule, giving him the ability to balance his professional and personal life more effectively.

One of the most rewarding aspects of his career is the opportunity to travel. Bas frequently attends conferences and visits clients, primarily within Europe but increasingly across the globe. These trips allow him to share his expertise, learn from others, and stay updated with the latest industry trends. Moreover, traveling enables him to immerse himself in different cultures, meet diverse groups of people, and enjoy a variety of local cuisines. This combination of professional growth and personal enrichment makes his work exceptionally fulfilling.

Outside of work, Bas spends time with his wife and two sons, aged ten and eight. He enjoys riding his racing bike, walking, learning Italian and recently started playing bridge.

"In Bas’s words: "If there's one lesson to learn, it's that trends come and go, but mastering the fundamentals will always serve you well. In our field, that means understanding good software testing and recognizing that test automation is also a software development. You can never go wrong by learning a little more about the fundamentals of software development, especially object-oriented programming principles and patterns."

He is running a public workshop on API security testing on September 09th, 2024.

You can buy the Tickets via

To book a 1-on-1 consultation with Bas, please visit

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