Yeah! I know this doubt is plaguing most of the QA community now-a-days, including me. First of all, let me clarify that I don’t have any project experience in Test automation. Shocked? Surprised? How come a QA engineer is driving “Software Testing Studio” without any prior Automation experience? I guess that itself was a starting point for me to design “Software Testing Studio” – to learn, practice (and share) automation testing. Because I believe writing what you have learned have a lasting impact, you have a reference guide in place, and who doesn’t love some passive income 😉 (though it has not started yet 🙁 )
The journey to ‘Test Lead’
I started my professional journey back in Jan’2010 and was introduced to the world of ‘Software Testing’. Soon after, the terminology changed to ‘Quality Assurance’ keeping in mind Customer satisfaction & need for maintaining the overall quality. Being from a Technical background (yes, I did engineering in Information Technology) and a quick learner (not boasting about it) I understood,
- Most of the Testing concepts (was even involved in Estimations & RFPs)
- Application architecture & functionality (once I wrote an FSD as well, since Business Analyst was too busy)
- Domain know-how (did some certifications too)
- The Team management Process (they all used to call me Deepu bro)
- Additionally I had a knack for writing from college days, so was good at documentation & reporting.
Working at Cognizant in a Banking domain for 5 long years was a rich experience all together, strengthening my Testing career with a bunch of individual & team awards. Year-on-year I grew professionally with more responsibilities automatically falling my way.
Why I don’t have automation experience?
Typical question! I won’t say the usual reason of not getting an automation opportunity in the project. There was an opportunity to work on Selenium (and now I regret not grabbing it) but,
- I was too busy and content with Manual Functional testing + playing a test lead role.
- Back then there was not a do-or-die situation
- I was already working 12 hours a day
- There was no technical & career guidance
- Automation is just for confirmation, manual testing is more exploratory & fun
- I was content & into my comfort zone
- The workload was already hectic
- I could not see the future trends
- Thought test lead will also have a career path
- Didn’t know manual & automation skills would merge
- Wanted my work-life balance
I missed that golden opportunity in that golden period when you are young, energetic, enthusiastic, open-to-learning and a bachelor 😉 Yeah! I am married now 😛 A golden period when you should be open to any kind of learning coming your way, grabbing every opportunity with both hands.
Automation vs. Manual Testing trade-off
What I couldn’t do via automation, I covered it via Manual testing – strengthening my concepts year-on-year. I built a reputation with the technical and the business team by understanding how-what-why of business and application. I prepared articulate reports. Suggested testing & process improvement areas. Trained the future resources. Implemented best practices. Questioned incorrect processes. Built client relationship. Learned & practiced Agile. Got some new business to the project. Handled multiple releases in parallel. Jumped to Content Management and Salesforce projects. Got involved in estimations. Prepared management decks & sliders. Hoping that I was building my future career path…
Automation overtakes Manual Testing
Agree or not, in the last couple of years software testers have seen the writing on the wall: as test operations grow increasingly automated, scripting skills are essential to grow your career in Software Testing. Software testers with only manual testing skills won’t cut it in today’s job market. Test automation is on the rise…
The Job description
Now the real problem started. On job portals, what do you think will be the job description for a 7+ year’s experienced Test resource? Yeah!
Test Expert | Team leader | Automation architect | Performance engineer | Agile | Automation frameworks | SDET | Selenium, HPE UFT, Appium, Load Runner, JMeter, Java, Python, etc.…
The expectations have suddenly risen but not the experience. Unfortunately I was building some different career path which would not fit in today’s job market. And this is not just my story!
I ‘know’ Test automation
Suddenly the time came to face the reality. To cope up, how can you learn 7 years of missed automation in just 2 years? Start sprinting. Search for tutorials, join classes (yes, experienced testers are also queuing for automation classes) and practice every day. It’s time to pay for your sins. Learn Selenium Webdriver, HPE UFT, study about Mobile automation, be technology-aware and start scripting. And when you feel comfortable, add that prestigious ‘automation testing’ title to your resume 😉 Yeah! I don’t have Test Automation experience, but I ‘know’ Test automation now.
Will industry accept me?
Next what? I have a strong functional test experience but no automation. I ‘know’ automation testing but don’t have the project experience. I am a Test lead but didn’t write any automation scripts. Analytical & logical but never did project coding. Found in-numerous bugs but didn’t prepare automation reports. Managed a big team but didn’t learn performance testing. Documented every report but didn’t produce framework guides. Enjoyed exploratory tests but didn’t script pre-defined test cases. Helped BAs and even developers (in debugging) but never developed automation framework. Understood domain & application flows but didn’t write code. Open to learning but no opportunity. Self-learned programming & tools, but didn’t get practical project experience. Passionate about Software testing but now it’s Software Developer in Test. Gained 7 years work experience but still don’t fit. Willing to give my 110%, but how to prove that? Built “Software Testing Studio” but still searching for the right career path!
In short – No Test Automation experience | Will industry accept me? If Yes,
Email: Deepanshu.firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: +91-7022289389
If you too are a part of this bandwagon, leave your email & phone# in the comments section below. You never know when the opportunity is knocking 😉 Keep Learning. Keep Testing!