So, I was hired early this year. I got about 4-5 months of training on the product I'm QA'ing for, then I was moved out of manual QA into automation of tests in our application. At the moment, I'm coding UI Tests for older well maintained straight forward regression tests. Because my workload, coding UI tests, is so different from the people around me, there is very little collaboration that needs to occur.
Unfortunately, this has left me feeling a bit socially isolated; Most days I come in, get my coffee, read the new developments with our product, and then get to work coding UI Tests until I leave. When I'm bored, or feeling like I need a break, I don't have the "I need to discuss the product" excuse for social interaction, and it probably wouldn't be prudent to go up to a working coworker and say "I'm bored and need a break" as a conversation starter.
The company culture has no issues with employees spending a few 30 minute periods just chatting per week; they believe it to be good for productivity. My problem is, I have nothing to really get started with with my coworkers, so I don't spend much time out of the cubicle. What are some good ways to integrate oneself into the culture when your work-load is so isolated?