5-in-5 with Test Engineer Peter Raitt


Peter Raitt is a Test Engineer at Arria NLG. He joined the company in 2014 and has worked on numerous NLG applications within the oil and gas, agricultural and weather industries. Originally from Scotland, and having lived in New Zealand for many years, Peter brings a wealth of knowledge. He studied at the University of Aberdeen and has a degree in Computer Science.

1. What does your role entail as a Test Engineer?

It’s about ensuring we produce quality systems that help our clients achieve their goals. We do this primarily by checking our systems for data accuracy, semantic or domain accuracy, and reliability. This includes devising of test cases, manual exploratory testing, and test automation. Also a lot of hard thinking!

2. What technologies do you use?

We use Robot Automation Framework for much of our test automation, particularly with the Selenium library. SQL usually plays a big role for checking data and preparing or searching for test data. Tomcat is our usual web server. And of course we use our own NLG Engine and its associated tools. On top of that are whatever other technologies we may be using on a specific project.

3. What excites you about Arria’s NLG technology?

The potential! There are so many possible areas it could be used in. Providing a human language based interface between data and people is an inherently satisfying thing to work on. It’s also been very gratifying to see the backend technology progress to become more powerful and more user friendly.

4. Which client solution are you most proud of and why?

A recent weather forecast system where we delivered more in-depth descriptions of the weather, at differing levels of detail (e.g. for 2-day forecasts versus 5-day forecasts), and in two languages. The end result was very high quality and used many different aspects of our technology to achieve human level texts. Also, it was very challenging as a tester due to the complexity and variety of the weather model data, and the huge variety in the output resulting text.

5. What is the best part about working for Arria NLG? 

It’s the people, stupid ;-) The variety of backgrounds and viewpoints combined with common interests in technology make for a great working atmosphere and great discussions (and some nerdishly inane ones). I’m very lucky that working with people here is as much fun as going hiking or eating out with them.


Author: Peter Raitt, Test Engineer at Arria NLG

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