Furthering test automation career

(Andrew) #1

Good afternoon,

I have a question …once you have worked in the test automation field for a while, as a result would you say this almost makes you “developer-like” in your coding skills?

The reason I ask is that, longer term, I’m wondering how much time I should commit to more in-depth courses, books etc which are probably more specific to developers(e.g. a book on c# design patterns) or whether as a test automation engineer whether we even need to be concerned about this more low-level detail, and instead should focus more on the automation aspect.

Also, I’ve found that with consulting now I could be on one assignment where I’m implementing an automation framework with Java and Selenium, the next assignment could be writing API tests using Rest Assured.
It’s an almost impossibility(for me anyway!) to remember how each implementation works, given that it may be a few weeks/months before using that particular framework. As a result I’ve started putting everything on GitHub so I can refer back to these frameworks later on. I just wanted to ask whether this is normal that you can sometimes get a bit rusty with a certain language, tool, approach etc?

As ever, thanks a lot!


(Musaffir) #2

Hello Andy @tilston1001,

My current designation is Senior test automation engineer and I have 5 years of expereince in automation, before that, for about 4 years I was more in to manual testing .
And from my expereince to answer your question, I would say - it depends .
It all depends to the kind of projects or environment where you are put in to…
I don’t feel like I have ‘developer-like’ coding skills, but I do have coding skills, and others usual ‘Dev skills’ which helps me to stay in the test automation path with out much issues. And that what I wanted to maintain and stay relevant…

I came from a non-computer science background, so I had to learn almost all the stuffs .
When I decided to switch from manual testing to automation, I started with learning JAVA, where I stressed more in to core-java and very limited to all those web app development apis like servlets,jsp etc because I knew they were not required for an automation engineer.
And like most of the people out there, I too started with Selenium. Initially worked with standalone scripts, then got inspired from different sources to start looking at framework etc.
I also tried developing my skills in certain tools like ANT,Maven, then in to CI integration tool like Jenkins etc
So the objective was to setup entire framework, automation eco system etc.

Later I got oppurtunity to work with api automations, there I explored different tools,methods etc
Same thing with performance test automation as well.

I also started exploring java script,Node.js,NPM,HTML,CSS etc…all mainly to deliver some of the requirements in my automation project
So I may not feel like I have ‘developer-like’ skills, but what I definitely have is I have the confidence of start exploring,learning,and pick up stuffs and the confidence of finishing them.
I think that is what is more important and coding skill is something any one can improve once thrown into such situation

Warm Regards

(Andrew) #3

Hi Musaffir, many thanks for your reply, really appreciate you taking the time out to help.

I’m particularly interested in hearing more about how you got into API automation? Which tools would you recommend? And, linked to that, would you recommend any particular training courses?


(Glenn) #4

Hi Andy,

I’ve been a test automation specialist for many years. In my opinion it’s necessary to understand development principles and continually build your development skills. I share your experience that, in test automation, we don’t spend all our time on one language / tool and consequently I feel that my development skills are less sharp than a full time developer specialising on one language but I’m OK with that.
It’s normal to become less sharp with the tools / languages you’re not currently using. The skill is to be able (and willing) to pick them up again quickly. A test automation professional needs to be able to quickly learn / recall whatever tool or language is appropriate for the current project.
Your technique of keeping working examples in git is a good way to get a quick reminder of how you’ve got things working in previous projects, taking care not to put client code / info on github.