Matthew Dekenah

Edinburgh, Scotland · m@dekenah.com · Download CV

Raised in Cape Town, now based in Edinburgh.
Prosecco socialist. Geek. Bon vivant. Wordsmith. Runner. Critical thinker.
Linguaphile. Music-lover. Cycle commuter. Green, lefty, liberal politico.

Senior Test Engineer at FreeAgent.

Professional Profile

Matthew is a highly motivated, intelligent and adaptable test engineering professional with over nine years of experience, predominantly in highly agile environments.

He has diverse experience throughout the entire software development and test lifecycle, including both functional and non-functional testing. He specialises in adapting the culture and processes of teams to embed proactive quality strategy throughout, while supplementing this with thoughtful automated and exploratory testing approaches.

He has a proven track record in leadership and organisational skills through active involvement in community service, vocational and extra-curricular activities. Along with well-developed technical, analytical, and problem-solving skills, he is approachable, articulate and attentive to the finer details, while remaining cognisant of wider constraints and opportunities.

Personal Interests

Activism and advocacy, cooking and gastronomy, history, languages, music, personal finance, policy, politics, public health, reading, running, social media, technology, tennis, and travel.

Experience

Senior Test Engineer

FreeAgent
  • As FreeAgent's first dedicated test engineer, create, develop, and implement a comprehensive and embedded test strategy within the engineering organisation and build up the test function.
  • Work closely with engineers, designers and product managers to help ensure that we deliver the right features to our customers to help them remain compliant with legislation and maintain the integrity of their accounts. (Technologies: Ruby on Rails, MySQL, Jenkins, Gherkin/Cucumber, JavaScript, React, XHTML, iXBRL, XML, HTML, CSS).
  • Enhance existing test processes and procedures through iterative implementation with impact reviews to measure success.
  • Coach engineers, business analysts and product managers in confidence-enhancing test practices and approaches.
  • Build tools to automate and facilitate testing initiatives. (Technologies: Postman, Ruby, Capybara, XML, JavaScript).
  • Evangelise test strategy, processes and tools both within the business and without through talks, blog posts and networking events.
Selected achievements
  • Successful design, rollout and advocacy of engineering organisation test strategy.
  • Overhaul and redesign of full application testing process, including API, mobile and third-party integrations testing.
  • Expedited development and release of annual tax legislation updates through confidence-improving test approaches.
June 2016 - Present

Test Engineer

Skyscanner
  • Own and implement test strategy across revenue, reporting, and data platform teams.
  • Design, build and maintain a comprehensive, automated end-to-end regression suite for user-event and revenue data logging across platforms, including mobile, and implement it in relevant continuous integration pipelines. (Technologies: Python, XML, TeamCity, Selenium, SauceLabs, RabbitMQ, SQL Server, ElasticSearch, TestRail).
  • Create an interactive test harness for the facilitated booking RESTful service API and actively test the service during early development. (Technologies: C#.NET, CoffeeScript, CSS).
  • Develop an automated stream processing job to enhance data integrity by performing technical validation on logged data. (Technologies: Google Protocol Buffers, AWS, Apache Samza, Apache Kafka, Java, Maven).
  • Identify and manage priorities to deliver team objectives and key results.
  • Evangelise and advocate for data quality throughout the business in tooling, technique and process.
  • Perform detailed investigations into issues highlighted by monitoring and automation anomalies, and those exposed through exploratory exercises.
  • Generate ideas and develop solutions to promote the adoption of a unified data logging platform across the business with shared taxonomies. (Technologies: Apache Stack, Google Protocol Buffers, AWS, Bosun, Linux, Vagrant, Ansible, Docker, Drone).
  • Perform triage and ‘green flag’ roles for squads on a rotational basis.
  • Collaborate with other squads across the business in enhancing monitoring and mean-time-to-detection rates for high risk and priority production operations.
  • Lead a cross-business team to promote better cross-office collaboration across Skyscanner's 9 offices in 7 countries.
Selected achievements
  • Oversaw massive improvements in data integrity.
  • Vastly improved mean-time-to-detection for high impact issues, from days or hours to minutes.
  • Significant improvements in revenue estimation allowing for better business strategy decisions.
January 2014 - June 2016

Test Analyst

NHS Lothian
  • Develop test scripts and strategies for the vital acute and community patient management system.
  • Lead automation process for regression test harnesses. (Technologies: Ruby, Python, Selenium, Watir Webdriver).
  • Ensure consistent performance and functionality of the system across environments.
  • Investigate and analyse identified issues and own escalation of priority tasks.
  • Become systems expert in mission-critical functional areas to enhance release processes.
  • Support and lead knowledge management and sharing processes within team.
Selected achievements
  • Expedited release of features to improve clinician and patient experience through coordinated automation strategy.
  • Timeous and smooth release of features as part of new Mental Health Act compliance.
November 2012 - January 2014

Policy Officer

Pain Concern
  • Define organisational strategy and aims for chronic pain management in Scotland and the UK-at-large.
  • Set and implement policy objectives.
  • Research and complete public consultations on chronic pain issues.
  • Synthesise knowledge and evidence-based practice into accessible information.
  • Complete grant applications for appropriate funding resources.
Selected achievements
  • Represented patients and third sector at Scottish parliament cross-party group on Chronic Pain.
  • Secured funding and grants through well-researched, evidence-based proposals.
October 2013 - September 2014

QA Test Engineer

Crocodile Clips (Sumdog)
  • Design, write, execute and own comprehensive test plans defined in an Agile Scrum environment.
  • Coordinate with product owners and developers to deliver priority updates for high-load web application. (Technologies: AWS, Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL).
  • Coordinate UI testing across environments, including cross-browser testing on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
  • Keep track of support issues in Pivotal Tracker and ensure delivery of valid issues.
Selected achievements
  • Quick turnaround on defects affecting US-wide school mathematics contests.
  • Enhanced cross-browser/platform testing strategy.
October 2011 - November 2012

Senior Quality Assurance Analyst

StatPro
  • As test lead, create a culture that enables own team to flourish and develop to its full potential.
  • Take responsibility for management, merges, queries and maintenance of sensitive client databases. (Technology: Microsoft SQL Server).
  • Take ownership, implement, manage and follow correct escalation path of resources and issues.
  • Provide estimations and resource time-costs, while managing resources flexibly to meet changing priorities and plans in Agile environment.
  • Develop protocols reflecting own personal expertise, and share these with others.
  • Make a positive contribution to improving efficiency and quality of the team through key priorities.
  • Work with key players to create comprehensive test strategies for new functional areas.
  • Provide team overview and communication channel to Development Manager and Director.
  • Continue to deliver on existing QA roles and functions.
Selected achievements
  • Significantly enhanced testing team performance by removing key-man dependencies through active mentoring and knowledge sharing activities.
  • Successfully enhanced team and development processes to deliver support fixes more effectively and efficiently.
November 2010 - August 2011

Quality Assurance Analyst

StatPro
  • Ensure developed solutions meet functional requirements with comprehensively built test plans.
  • Create and maintain an automated regression test strategy. (Technologies: Ranorex, SQL Server, VMWare).
  • Participate in story development and specification.
  • Undertake performance, load, exploratory and localisation testing.
  • Manage databases on Microsoft SQL Server and build comprehensive queries to ensure data integrity.
  • Provide critical frontline support to international internal clients.
  • Be a key player in authorising application releases.
  • Track bugs in JIRA and own their resolution by coordinating with developers.
  • Fulfil Fire Fighter and First Aid Officer roles in the Health and Safety Team.
Selected achievements
  • Ensured company and products retained Microsoft Gold Partner status by coordinating efforts for seamless verification.
  • Provided significant input into the release of several major product versions and the release of a new analytics platform.
June 2009 - November 2010

Developer

CellSmart Technologies
  • Implement web site creation, design and maintenance. (Technologies: PHP, MySQL, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, XHTML, CodeIgniter MVC framework).
  • Design and develop a proprietary mobile web platform.
  • Analyse and troubleshoot existing mobile technology systems.
March 2009 - June 2009

Education

The University of Edinburgh

MSc in Global Health and Public Policy
  • Holder of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship.
  • Dissertation: 'Integrating HIV and TB services in South Africa'.
  • Activities and Societies: Edinburgh University Singers, Edinburgh University StopAIDS Society
2011 - 2012

Stellenbosch University

BA (Hons) in Socio-Informatics cum laude
  • Graduated at the top of the class.
  • Recipient of various awards and distinctions, including Stellenbosch University Merit Scholarships, the Babette Taute Trust Scholarship, and the Sasol/Golden Key International Honour Society Excellence Award in the ICT Category.
  • Dissertation: 'South African Electronic Government in the Global Information Society'.
  • Activities and Societies: Stellenbosch University Choir, International Student Organisation of Stellenbosch, HIV Peer Education Program, Maties Community Service, Golden Key International Honour Society, Rotex
2005 - 2008

Diocesan College (Bishops)

Senior Certificate with Distinction
  • Awarded six distinctions in Computer Science, Mathematics, Science, English, Afrikaans and Geography.
  • Awarded various top of class prizes, subject awards, and academic distinctions, including the Theron Academic Scholarship.
  • Recipient of Academic and Music Colours and the Academic, Service, and All Rounder's Ties.
  • Elected as Prefect and as Deputy Head Chorister of the Chapel Choir.
  • Activities and Societies: Ten Club (Elected), Forum (Elected), International Society, Chapel Choir, Symphony Orchestra, Dance Society
1999-2003

Certifications & Courses

Certifications
  • [2018] Black Box Software Testing Test Design Course | Association for Software Testing (Class 300-O)
  • [2015] Black Box Software Testing Foundations Course | Association for Software Testing (Class 101-AG)
  • [2013] Certified Tester Foundation Level | BCS/ISEB/ISTQB (License 990453184)
  • [2011] Certificate in C++.NET Programming | Damelin College
  • [2010] CompTIA Network+ | CompTIA (License LPR729JLJGV15TXG)
  • [2008] Knowledge Management Tools and Applications | University of the Western Cape, NSS Programme
Additional Courses
  • [Nov 2013] Data Management for Clinical Research | Vanderbilt University (through Coursera)
  • [Aug 2013] Case-Based Introduction to Biostatistics | John Hopkins University (through Coursera)
  • [Jul 2013] Interprofessional Healthcare Informatics | University of Minnesota (through Coursera)
  • [Jun 2013] Introduction to Data Science | The University of Washington (through Coursera)

Skills

Selected Tools & Technologies
  • Test Automation: Selenium, BDD, Postman, Saucelabs, Capybara, etc
  • Databases: MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc
  • Cloud and Container Technologies: AWS, Docker, Puppet, etc
  • Data Warehousing: Kafka, Apache Samza, RabbitMQ, etc
  • Web Technologies: HTML, XML, XPATH, CSS, JavaScript, etc
  • Source Control: git, SVN, Perforce
  • Testing Tools: FireBug, Fiddler, BrowserStack, Charles, etc
  • Bug Tracking: JIRA, PivotalTracker, GitHub, etc
  • Collaboration: Slack, Trello, ReadTheDocs, etc
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Bash, Android, iOS, etc
Key Competencies
  • Test Automation
  • Agile Methodologies and Approaches
  • Strategy Development, Implementation and Rollout
  • Verbal and Written Communication
  • Leadership, Coaching and Mentoring
  • Organisation and Resource-Sensitive Time Management

Languages

Fluent
  • English
  • Afrikaans
  • Brazilian Portuguese
Advanced
  • Spanish
Basic to Intermediate
  • French
  • German
  • Welsh

Awards & Honours

  • [2011-2012] Ambassadorial Scholarship | The Rotary Foundation
  • [2011] Brightest Young Minds Summit Delegate | The Brightest Young Minds Foundation
  • [2008] Postgraduate Merit Scholarship | Stellenbosch University
  • [2008] Sasol/Golen Key International Honour Society Excellence Award [ICT Category] | Golden Key International Honour Society in association with Sasol
  • [2006] Babette Taute Scholarship | The Babette Taute Trust
  • [2006] French Award | The Department of Modern Foreign Languages, Stellenbosch University
  • [2005] German Award | The German Consulate General in Cape Town in association with Stellenbosch University
  • [2005] Merit Scholarships | Stellenbosch University
  • [2004] Rotary Youth Exchange Programme Ambassador to Brazil | Rotary International
  • [1999-2003] Theron Academic Scholarship | Diocesan College (Bishops)
  • [2001] Exchange Ambassador to the USA | Diocesan College (Bishops)