Let’s get this out of the way… YES!
Should I get into test automation? YES!
Will I have to learn how to program to do test automation? YES
Is it going to be time-consuming and a long journey? YES
Am I going to want to hurl my computer against a wall t some point? YES
Is it still really worth it? OK, now you are asking an interesting question ;).
Automation is indeed important but please, PLEASE, do not just look at test automation as the goal. Also, if you are just beginning programming, I beg you, go work on something else for a bit to get your programming chops together. Build some small apps, create some dynamic web sites, or put together some kind of project that lets you practice some language dynamics. I’m totally serious here, do NOT have your first projects as a programmer be writing automated tests.
Once you have gotten some coding under your belt, now you can approach automating tests because, I hope, you have also written some tests for the coding you have learned up to this point. If not, please do not pass go, please go back and learn some unit testing fundamentals as it relates to your own small projects.
The fact is, test automation can be overwhelming. It isn’t something you can shoe-horn into a very crowded workday. You need to have some time to experiment, tinker, reflect, and experiment again. Aso, is there a chance that what you are creating is just going to be you and you alone writing the automated tests? Will there be others who will be engaged in writing automated tests as well? Where will these tests be used? You will see there is a different attitude when the tests are standalone and good to have while if tey are part of the release pipeline, they have much higher visibility and interest in their operation.
Initializing a framework and getting it to be something worth demonstrating can be a big step towards doing more of it in the future. This might actually be a case of “be careful what you ask for” but there it is ;).