How do I become a Test Automation Engineer?

Test Automation has increasingly become a buzz word over the years particularly since the advent of Agile. Many companies have increasingly recruited Test Automation engineers to be able to automate their rapidly increasing regression packs. Testers likewise have jumped on the bandwagon and realised that either the better paid roles require Test Automation or that they are finding it difficult to get a good job within Testing if they don’t at least have some knowledge of automated testing.

So you want to start the journey to be coming a Test Automation Specialist. What do you do and where do you start?

1) Make a Technology and Tool choice

There are so many Test Automation Tools out there that it is often difficult to know which one to choose. If you are looking for a long career in Test automation, then look for a tool and technology set that is used widely in the industry. Also combine this with your own capability and interest. For example if you are good at VB but are not so confident with programming languages such as Java or C# then trying to master an open source tool such as Selenium over let’s say HP UFT may not be advisable.

2) The basics

Okay so you have chosen your Test Automation Tools and technologies. You know want to start to learn them. You can look at some of the courses many software training companies provide but I would suggest going for a video course. Again there are many companies such as Pluralsite, Udemy, ourselves (Tricky Defects) and others who provide some really good videos on setting up a particular automation tool and then going into the fundamentals of that tool. With enough practice you can quickly learn the basics.

3) Frameworks

Once you have successfully mastered the basics of being able to set up a Tool confidently and write some automation tests in your technology and Tools set, then the next step is to be able to create a framework. Within a work environment, it is never sufficient to just write automation tests with no understanding or concept of an overall framework which is maintainable, robust and extendable. Try to get some understanding of why an automation framework is important and then look at creating a simple one. Page object model is a common one and one of my favourites but again there is so much out there online to assist you with your choice and get you started.

4) Test Execution

How will you run your tests and how will you report on your tests? There are many test runners out there, the tool you are using may have an in built one but you need to make sure you have an effective way of being able to run your test cases. Likewise reporting is important, you may want to plug in a third party tool which gives an easy to read view of the Tests run, passed and failed.

5) What else?

Having successfully chosen your Tool, Technology set, created my first tests and built my framework what else am I missing? Think Data! How will you enter data into your framework? Will it be through csv files, will it be directly through making calls to a database? Whatever you decide, make sure you are confident in doing this to be able to have the right data for your tests

..and there you go. Of course there are hurdles and complexities that you will encounter and overcome over time but if you can master these 5 things, this will put you on the road to becoming a Test Automator. Start the journey Today!