Todd Eaton, Head of DevOps at The Weather Company

Breakpoint 2020 is a 4-day virtual summit on everything testing. We're bringing speakers from the best dev and QA teams to talk about building QA processes, automating at scale and best practices for success with tools and frameworks.

Featured today is Todd Eaton, Head of DevOps at The Weather Company and speaker at Breakpoint 2020. Todd is a retired US Navy Hospital Corpsman, Scoutmaster and serial volunteer.

He has over twenty years of experience managing and performing full life cycle implementations, support and daily operations of web applications, clinical information systems, IT applications and web-based cash management applications in large corporations.

Can you tell us about your role at The Weather Company?

I lead the IBM Watson Media and Weather B2C Dev-Ops and Web-QA teams. We are responsible for system administration, testing and deployment of IBM Watson Media and Weather B2C applications like, and The Weather Channel apps.

Can you give us a sneak-peek into your session for Breakpoint 2020?

For my session in Breakpoint 2020, I plan on describing how our B2C web team has changed our traditional testing methodology from a reliance on QA tests for assertions to more visual regression and end-to-end testing.

What’s it like to be a STEM Academy Advisory Board Member?

My role as a STEM Academy Advisory Board member is very satisfying. The STEM Academy is part of a public high school in a low income area, primarily serving children of Hispanic descent. I meet with students and teachers to share real world examples of STEM careers and influence their curriculum with technology and industry trends.

Have you worked on any side-projects recently?

My Director has made me responsible for the security compliance of our B2C products, so I have been doing a lot of security training, including an IBM course titled "Think Like Hacker", and receiving the Security Focal Badge.

What are you reading right now?

I recently finished 'Accelerate — Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations' by Nicole Forsgren PhD, Jez Humble and Gene Kim.

This was an interesting book describing the traits of high performing organizations. It gave me ideas on how best to transform our Dev-Ops and Testing groups to become a more high performing team.

What would you tell people who’re new to testing?

My advice for anyone new to testing is to carve out 4 hours a week to learn new skills. Testing has changed so dramatically since I first started in technology 30 years ago! The only people who survive any transition are the ones who learn new skills.

Whether it's test automation, build and deployment automation, environment orchestration, security, or other compliance management, testers who understand the different aspects of the business and how testing affects those aspects will always be more valuable.