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State Retirement Entity Seeks IT Assistance

In a request for offer, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System is looking for a candidate to assist it in testing during an ongoing tech refresh.

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The entity charged with providing retirement benefits to the state’s roughly 1 million educators is seeking assistance from IT companies during a technology modernization.

In a request for offer (RFO) released Monday, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) wants to hire “one experienced Senior Automation Test Analyst with detailed knowledge and experience with documentation of testing methodologies and management for a pension, financial or similar system.” This person will do “various test activities related to the current Pension Solution project to implement a new pension administration system,” part of CalSTRS’ ongoing replacement of “multiple outdated legacy systems with a new pension administration system, a project known as Pension Solution.” Among the takeaways:

  • CalSTRS needs a Senior Automation Test Analyst to support the Pension Solution project testing team with “test automation development and enhancements, test automation planning, test scheduling, development of processes and staffing requirements for defect triage, (and to) assist with test case development and other test activities.” The person/entity selected must have a current IT California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS) agreement with the California Department of General Services. The successful candidate must also have “detailed knowledge of, and experience with, testing techniques supporting large software development and (commercial off-the-shelf) product implementation projects,” according to the RFO. Specific duties will include test results analysis, testing analysis, hands-on testing and planning of releases.
  • The chosen candidate will be directed by the CalSTRS Pension Solution Technical Lead or a designee and may be assigned “one or more teams/programs/projects during the services period.” Specifically, the analyst must follow the “System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) methodology” while working in “a variety of CalSTRS business areas on the development of testing processes, strategies and plans; and maintenance documentation in the CalSTRS requirements and testing management systems,” per the RFO. The contractor must do activities including system testing, parallel testing, conversion testing, performance testing, regression testing and user acceptance testing. Deliverables include developing test automation using Robot Framework and Python, working with the automation team on the test automation framework, using SQL in test automation to find and manipulate data and to support large automation tests where a user interface isn’t practical to retrieve results; and ensuring the application meets “the business, operational, and technology requirements.”
  • Minimum technical qualifications include at least three years’ experience during the last five years “developing and maintaining automated testing on projects with large organizations, participating in the technical implementation of software/systems/applications”; with “Python on (Microsoft) Windows platforms for Test script development using open-source Robot framework or Selenium”; and using SQL for “data creation, data manipulation and data retrieval activities required for running and executing automated tests.” Desirable technical qualifications include knowledge of TFS as a “version control tool for maintaining a repository of automation test scripts,” experience as a test analyst “leading or participating in the technical implementation of pension/retirement-related or other financial application software development project,” and a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, management information systems or related fields.
  • The contract value is not stated. The total services period may be as long as two years, with an option to extend for up to three years at CalSTRS’ discretion, “at an estimated average of 160 work hours per month.” Offers are due by 2 p.m. Jan. 14. Work is estimated to start in March.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.