From Manual to Automation Testing: How to Transition Your Testing Career in the US

From Manual Tester to an Automation Tester complete guide

Before we dive into the world of automation testing, I’d like to give you a heads-up that this blog may take some time to read. However, I assure you that every minute invested will be worth it, as I aim to provide you with a comprehensive guide on becoming an automation tester. I do not want to leave any gaps that may mislead or confuse you, so please set aside around 30 minutes of your time and stay tuned.

Are you a manual tester who feels like you’ve hit a ceiling in your career growth and earnings? It’s a common challenge faced by many in the IT industry. While automation testing may seem like the obvious next step, it’s not the only option available to you.

If you don’t have the necessary competencies for automation testing such as programming skills and knowledge of automation tools, don’t worry. There are other avenues to explore. For instance, you can leverage your understanding of business processes and domain expertise to become a Business Analyst. You can also pursue a career in Project Management, where your strong communication and organizational skills will be valuable.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control roles are also excellent options for manual testers, as your experience in testing and debugging can be put to good use. Additionally, becoming a Product Manager is a high-demand option that allows you to use your skills to drive the development and success of a product.

Remember, the IT industry is full of opportunities for those who are willing to explore and pursue them. Don’t limit yourself to just one path – with the right mindset and approach, you can achieve success in various roles.

Now you may have a question. what would I do as an Automation Engineer, right?

As an automation engineer, your primary responsibility is to develop and execute automated test scripts to validate the functionality, performance, and scalability of software applications. You use automation testing tools to create test cases that simulate user actions, such as clicking on buttons, filling out forms, and navigating through the application. You also write code to automate repetitive tasks and test scenarios.

For example, let’s consider the development of an e-commerce website. As an automation engineer, your role would be to ensure that the website is functioning as intended and meets quality standards. To accomplish this, you would first analyze the requirements and design test cases based on the business and functional requirements, as well as the technical specifications. Next, using automation testing tools such as Selenium, you would develop test scripts that automate the execution of the test cases. These scripts would simulate user actions and verify the functionality of the website.

Once the test scripts are developed, you would execute them to validate the functionality of the website. You would analyze the test results to identify any defects or issues that need to be addressed and report them to the development team along with a detailed report that includes the steps to reproduce the issue.

In addition to testing, automation engineers also play a crucial role in improving the overall software development process by identifying and addressing software defects early in the development cycle, reducing time-to-market, and improving the quality of the software. They help to improve the reliability and maintainability of the software by implementing automated tests that can be executed repeatedly, reducing the manual effort required for regression testing.

You must have heard Automation Engine and Automation Framework, right? And do you wanna know more?

Certainly, you must be, here I can provide a more detailed explanation of the difference between automation engine and automation framework with an example.

An automation engine is the core component of an automation testing tool that provides the functionality to automate the execution of test cases. It includes a scripting engine, a test runner, and other components that enable the automation of repetitive tasks and test scenarios. For example, the Selenium automation engine provides the ability to write test scripts in languages like Java, Python, and C# that simulate user actions and verify the functionality of the application under test.

On the other hand, an automation framework is a set of guidelines, best practices, and tools that provide a structured approach to automate the testing process. It defines the rules and standards for creating and executing test cases, as well as managing test data and reporting results. For example, the Selenium automation framework provides a structured approach to automate the testing process by defining how to organize the test cases, manage test data, and report the results.

An automation engine provides the functionality to automate tests, while an automation framework provides the structure and guidelines to use the automation engine effectively to achieve the desired testing goals. Together, they form a comprehensive automation testing solution that enables software applications to be tested quickly, efficiently, and accurately.

Programming languages used by Automation tester:

There are several programming languages that automation testers can use to write automated test scripts, depending on the automation testing tool they are using and their personal preferences. Some of the popular programming languages used in automation testing include:

  1. Java – Java is one of the most widely used programming languages in automation testing. It is a versatile language with a vast library of testing frameworks and tools, including Selenium and Appium.
  2. Python – Python is a simple, easy-to-learn, and highly readable language that is increasingly popular in automation testing. It has a wide range of testing frameworks and tools, including Pytest and Robot Framework.
  3. C# – C# is a powerful and widely used language for automation testing, especially when using Microsoft technologies such as Visual Studio and .NET framework.
  4. JavaScript – JavaScript is a popular scripting language used in web development, and is also used for automation testing with tools like Selenium and Cypress.
  5. Ruby – Ruby is a simple and flexible language used in automation testing, especially with the popular testing framework, Cucumber.

Some more optional languages are PHP, Perl, Kotlin, Swift, Typescript, and there are more.

Here are some commonly used tools by automation testers:

  1. Selenium WebDriver: Used for automating web browsers, it is a popular open-source tool that supports multiple programming languages like Java, Python, C#, and more.
  2. Appium: Used for automating mobile applications on iOS, Android, and Windows platforms, it is an open-source tool.
  3. TestComplete: Used for automating desktop, web, and mobile applications, it is a commercial tool that supports multiple scripting languages.
  4. Ranorex: Used for automating desktop, web, and mobile applications, it is a commercial tool that supports multiple scripting languages.
  5. JMeter: Used for automating load testing for desktop, web, and mobile applications, it is a popular open-source tool that can simulate thousands of users simultaneously and analyze performance metrics.
  6. Cucumber: A Behavior Driven Development (BDD) tool that supports multiple programming languages, it allows automation testers to create test scenarios in plain English text.
  7. SoapUI: Used for automating web services testing, it is a popular open-source tool that supports multiple protocols like REST, SOAP, and more.
  8. Postman: Used for automating API testing, it is a popular open-source tool that supports multiple protocols and allows automation testers to create and run automated tests for APIs.
  9. Robot Framework: A generic test automation framework that supports multiple programming languages, it allows automation testers to create and execute test cases for desktop, web, and mobile applications.

These are just a few examples of the many tools available for automation testing. The choice of tool depends on various factors like the type of application, programming language, and specific requirements.

Some commonly used project management and tracking tools by automation testers:

  1. JIRA: Used for issue tracking, project management, and agile development, it is a popular tool that can integrate with various automation testing tools.
  2. Asana: Used for project management, team collaboration, and task tracking, it can be used for managing testing tasks and tracking test results.
  3. Trello: Used for task management and team collaboration, it can be used for managing testing tasks and tracking test results.
  4. TestRail: Used for test case management, test planning, and test execution, it is a popular tool for managing and tracking testing activities.
  5. HP Quality Center/ALM: Used for test management, it is a commercial tool that provides a comprehensive solution for managing and tracking testing activities.
  6. Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS): Used for project management, source control, and testing, it is a popular tool that provides a complete solution for managing software development projects.

These tools can help automation testers manage and track their testing activities, collaborate with team members, and provide visibility into project progress. The choice of tool depends on various factors like the organization’s preferences, project requirements, and budget.

Now the most awaited question is, what are the competencies needed to be an automation tester?

Developing an automation framework requires knowledge of programming, automation testing tools, and software testing concepts. Here are some steps to develop an automation framework:

  1. Analyze the application under test and identify the key functionalities that need to be tested.
  2. Choose an appropriate automation testing tool based on the application’s technology stack and the organization’s preferences.
  3. Design the automation architecture and framework structure.
  4. Develop and implement the automation scripts.
  5. Integrate the automation scripts into the framework.
  6. Set up the test data and test environment.
  7. Execute the automation tests and generate reports.

To become a perfect automation tester, one needs to have a strong foundation in programming, software testing, and automation testing tools. Here are some steps that can help:

  1. Learn a programming language like Java, Python, or Ruby.
  2. Gain knowledge of software testing concepts like test design, test case management, and defect management.
  3. Familiarize oneself with automation testing tools like Selenium WebDriver, Appium, and TestComplete.
  4. Understand the concepts of automation frameworks like data-driven testing, keyword-driven testing, and hybrid testing.
  5. Gain hands-on experience in developing automation scripts and executing automation tests.
  6. Keep up-to-date with the latest automation testing trends and technologies.

By following these steps, an automation tester can develop the necessary skills and expertise to become a successful automation tester.

Here is the 3 months plan to learn programming and automation testing together.

here is a 3-month plan to learn programming and automation testing together:

Month 1:

  1. Learn the basics of programming using a language like Python or Java. Start with variables, data types, loops, conditions, and functions.
  2. Download an automation tool like Selenium and set up an environment to automate web applications.
  3. Write simple test cases like validating a login form, searching for a product, or navigating to a page. Use the programming concepts you have learned to write automation scripts.

Month 2:

  1. Move on to OOP concepts in programming. Learn about classes, objects, inheritance, polymorphism, and encapsulation.
  2. Dive deeper into Selenium and learn about the advanced features like handling frames, windows, pop-ups, and alerts.
  3. Write more complex test cases like testing user authentication, performing CRUD operations, and testing web services.

Month 3:

  1. Learn about data structures like lists, stacks, queues, and trees. Study algorithms like sorting, searching, and recursion.
  2. Explore other automation tools like Appium for mobile automation or TestNG for testing frameworks.
  3. Work on building your own automation framework using the programming concepts and tools you have learned.

Remember to practice regularly and consistently. Keep a track of your progress and identify areas of improvement. Join online communities or forums to ask for help or share your learnings. With dedication and hard work, you can become a proficient automation tester.

For Continuous learning and upscaling connect with developers and join communities, forums, etc.

Connecting with developers as a beginner automation tester can be very helpful in several ways:

  1. Learning opportunities: Developers can provide insights into the software development process and help you understand how applications are built. This can give you a better understanding of the application and make it easier to write effective test cases.
  2. Collaboration: Automation testing requires close collaboration between testers and developers. By building a relationship with developers, you can work together to identify issues and resolve them more efficiently.
  3. Feedback: Developers can provide valuable feedback on your automation test cases. They can help you identify areas for improvement and suggest ways to make your test cases more effective.
  4. Career growth: As you gain experience in automation testing, you may decide to transition into a development role. Building a relationship with developers can help you learn more about the development process and gain valuable experience that can help you make that transition.

To connect with developers, you can attend team meetings, participate in code reviews, and seek feedback on your work. You can also ask for mentorship or guidance from experienced developers. Remember to approach them with respect and a willingness to learn. Be open to constructive criticism and take feedback seriously. Over time, building a good relationship with developers can be an important part of your growth as an automation tester.

Here are some social platforms, forums, groups, and sites you can join or follow to stay connected with the automation testing community:

  1. LinkedIn Groups: There are many LinkedIn groups dedicated to automation testing and related topics. Some examples include Automation Testing, Selenium WebDriver Automation, and Test Automation.
  2. Reddit: The r/QualityAssurance subreddit has a lot of discussions on automation testing and related topics. You can also check out r/Selenium and r/Appium for discussions on those specific tools.
  3. Stack Overflow: Stack Overflow is a question-and-answer forum where you can ask and answer technical questions related to automation testing and programming.
  4. Software Testing Help: Software Testing Help is a website that offers a lot of resources and tutorials on automation testing and related topics.
  5. Ministry of Testing: Ministry of Testing is a community of software testers that offers resources, webinars, events, and a forum where you can connect with other testers.
  6. GitHub: GitHub is a platform where you can find and contribute to open-source automation testing projects, collaborate with other testers, and learn from others.
  7. Twitter: You can follow hashtags like #automationtesting, #selenium, and #appium on Twitter to stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends in the industry.

Congratulations on your decision to transition into an automation testing role! Here are some common questions that you may encounter during an automation testing interview, both on the technical and behavioral aspects:

Top 10 questions for both technical and behavioral aspects of an automation tester interview, along with some websites to prepare for the interview:

Technical Questions:

  1. Can you explain the architecture of the automation framework you have worked on previously?
  2. How do you integrate test automation with continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines?
  3. Can you provide an example of a complex automated test case you have designed and executed?
  4. How do you manage test data in automation testing?
  5. How do you handle dynamic web elements in test automation?
  6. Can you explain the difference between functional and non-functional testing?
  7. How do you debug a failing test case in automation testing?
  8. Can you explain the difference between unit testing and integration testing?
  9. How do you handle version control in automation testing?
  10. How do you ensure that automated test cases are maintainable and scalable over time?

Along with the above question you will be tested for hands-on coding to testing your command of the programming language.

Behavioral Questions:

  1. Can you describe a time when you faced a difficult problem in automation testing and how you resolved it?
  2. Can you explain how you prioritize tasks in automation testing?
  3. Can you describe how you communicate with your team members to ensure that automation testing is on track?
  4. Can you provide an example of a time when you had to adapt to a change in requirements during automation testing?
  5. Can you explain how you handle conflicts or disagreements within your team during automation testing?
  6. Can you describe how you handle stress and pressure during tight deadlines in automation testing?
  7. Can you provide an example of a time when you had to explain a technical concept to a non-technical stakeholder?
  8. Can you describe how you keep up-to-date with the latest automation testing trends and tools?
  9. Can you explain how you approach testing of complex systems in automation testing?
  10. Can you provide an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision during automation testing and how you came to that decision?

Most probably, you will be given a business case to answer in-depth so be ready with your thought process.

Some websites that can be useful for a candidate in the USA to prepare for automation testing interviews are:

  1. LeetCode: This website provides coding challenges and interview questions with a focus on algorithms and data structures.
  2. HackerRank: HackerRank is a popular platform that offers coding challenges and interview questions in a variety of programming languages.
  3. GeeksforGeeks: This website provides articles and tutorials on computer science topics, including algorithms, data structures, and programming languages.
  4. Udemy: Udemy offers a variety of online courses on programming languages, automation testing tools, and other technical topics.
  5. Coursera: Coursera provides online courses and specializations in various technical fields, including computer science and software engineering.
  6. LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Learning offers courses on programming languages, software testing, and other technical skills, as well as courses on soft skills and career development.
  7. Glassdoor: Glassdoor provides information about company reviews, salaries, and interview questions from current and former employees, which can be useful for preparing for interviews.
  8. Indeed: Indeed is a job search website that also provides interview questions and reviews of companies from current and former employees.
  9. Dice: Dice is a job search website that focuses on technology and engineering jobs, and also provides resources for career development and job search advice.
  10. Meetup: Meetup is a social platform that connects people with similar interests and provides opportunities to attend events, webinars, and workshops related to automation testing and other technical topics.

Essentials for the Job Search:

Before starting the job search, it’s important to ensure that your resume, LinkedIn profile, and job portal profiles are updated and polished. Here are some tips:

  1. Customize your resume and LinkedIn profile: Tailor your resume and LinkedIn profile to the job you’re applying for. Highlight your relevant experience, skills, and achievements that align with the job requirements.
  2. Use keywords: Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes, so make sure to include relevant keywords in your resume and profile.
  3. Use bullet points: Use bullet points to make your resume and profile easy to scan. Use concise, action-oriented language to describe your accomplishments.
  4. Include relevant projects and achievements: Mention specific projects you worked on and the impact they had. Use numbers and metrics to quantify your achievements.
  5. Keep it concise: Keep your resume to one or two pages, and your LinkedIn profile summary to a few paragraphs. Don’t include irrelevant information.
  6. Have a professional headshot: Include a professional-looking headshot in your LinkedIn profile.
  7. Get endorsements and recommendations: Request endorsements and recommendations from your colleagues, supervisors, and clients to add credibility to your profile.
  8. Be active on social media: Engage with industry experts and peers on social media to showcase your knowledge and expertise.
  9. Keep your job portal profiles updated: Make sure your job portal profiles (e.g. Indeed, Glassdoor) are updated with your latest experience and skills.

In the end, as you embark on your journey towards becoming an automation tester, remember that it takes time and effort to master the required technical and behavioral competencies. But with persistence and dedication, you can achieve your career goals and enjoy the rewards of this exciting field. Don’t forget to practice and continuously learn new skills, stay connected with the industry through social media and networking platforms, and tailor your resume and online profiles to showcase your strengths and achievements.

And hey, don’t forget to add some humor and fun along the way! Laugh at your mistakes, celebrate your successes, and never stop growing. I hope you found this conversation helpful and insightful. For more tips and resources, visit my website or connect with me on Instagram @digivistar2023 and Pinterest @digivistar0293. And please don’t hesitate to share your feedback – I’m always looking for ways to improve and serve you better.

Good luck and have a blast in your automation testing career!

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