How testers can come to grips with test automation

Test automation can enable you to test software more efficiently and effectively, improving quality and cutting time to market. Little wonder then that the market is expanding so quickly. Test automation was worth almost $13 billion in 2015 and it will be worth $86 billion by 2024, according to Transparency Market Research. Smart testers will see which way the wind is blowing here and take steps to acquire the skills they need to stay in demand.


Golden opportunity for career advancement

One of the main hurdles for test automation to overcome is the lack of skilled talent with the right experience. There’s no doubt that picking up coding skills and developing an understanding of test automation will make you a much more attractive prospect for many potential employers.

The drive towards continuous delivery of software, as siloes collapse in the path of the DevOps movement, represents real opportunity for testers who can code. Being able to script and find ways to automate complex, repetitive tasks makes you more self-reliant and reduces the burden on developers. Understanding code also helps you to analyze the code of others. These are transferable skills that will help you to see errors and patterns in logs and outputs.

Keeping up with the latest development trends

As software development evolves and the enterprise relies increasingly on the cloud and big data, testers have to work to stay abreast. Filtering, collating, and manipulating data is a big part of many testing roles nowadays. Problem-solving skills and self-reliance are also highly prized, and coding skills help you to adapt and think your way through.

A technical understanding can also enable testers to work beneath the GUI. If you can read XML and work directly with APIs, instead of relying on traditional user interfaces, then you’re already ahead of the competition. Your new-found coding skills can be applied anywhere that you see an opportunity for improvement.

How to acquire new skills

You may feel you don’t have the time or money to invest in yourself, but acquiring coding skills doesn’t need to be expensive, and you can do it at a time that suits you. Codecademy and Udemy are valuable resources to tap, and there is a lot of free guidance online. Read and study to brush up your skillset and grow. Consider learning a new language, like Python or Ruby.

You might also consider asking experienced technical testers or developers about the best route to improving your knowledge. If you have a dream role in mind, then research how to get there and make a plan to develop the right skills.

There’s always going to be demand for manual testers, but there’s no denying that test automation is likely to continue to grow more and more popular.

If you want to be the best tester you can be and ensure you have career opportunities open, then picking up coding skills is probably the single best thing you can do.


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