There is an increase in the demand for software testing, as new softwares and applications continue to emerge. The Software Testing market size exceeded around $40 million in 2020 and is estimated to grow at 7% CAGR from 2021 to 2027 [Source: Global Market Insights]. With this large growth, manual testing is now being replaced by automation testing to increase the speed, accuracy, and quality of the newly developed software.
Test automation engineers are the ones who design these softwares, that conduct automatic tests on new and existing software. They use automated frameworks and tools to build the program and write test scripts that do the testing.
In 2016, the global test automation market was valued at approximately $15.87 billion and was expected to reach approximately $54.98 billion by 2022. Students are realising the potential of this sector and thus looking for an automation testing online course. Such courses help students in upskilling themselves, thus making their career path easy and sustainable.
However, there should be a proper understanding of what skills are required. So let’s have a look at some skills that are required by the test automation engineer.
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Whether an automation engineer needs to learn programming skills or not depends on the automation framework used by the organisation. For example, if an organisation is using “SpecFlow” or “Cucumber” for test automation, the script can be written in plain English and the knowledge of Selenium webdriver will be enough. On the contrary, if UFT or QTP are being used, then the automation engineers should have a thorough knowledge of programming.
However, one should have some basic understanding of programming languages so that they are able to write a logical automation test script. A basic understanding is required for languages like C#, Python, Java, Perl, SQL, XML, HTML, and CSS.
Automation test engineers should also have experience in manual testing due to following reasons.
- It is important to view the software from the perspective of a real-time user, as it helps the testers to identify UI and usability testing for finding bugs.
- Some of the tests can only be done manually, like Ad-hoc testing and visual testing.
- Automated tests may have loopholes. So having a manual touch instead of depending entirely on automation will ensure that there are no “false-positives” or “false-negatives” in the results.
Also, there are some scenarios that are not feasible for automation testing like checking the gesture or touch feature of an application. Thus, knowledge of manual testing is crucial.
An automation test engineer should be able to understand the application. They should know the application from both frontend as well as the service layer before conducting the tests. Some of the basic points that one should understand are mentioned below, and they can vary depending upon the complexity of the application.
- The programming languages used by the development team to code the application.
- The platform on which the application is built and where they are meant to be run by the end-users.
- The databases used for storing the backend information and user data.
- Whether there are any APIs or web services connected to the system and how are they used.
- If the application is tested manually and what is the expected time spent by the manual tester.
- Discovered bugs left unfixed during the previous release.
- Expected delivery date of completing the testing phase.
Automation Testing Tools
An automation test engineer is expected to have knowledge and experience in the following automation tools to be able to deliver good quality and bug-free applications in less time.
- Selenium is popular in the world of automation testing as it supports all major browsers.
- It ensures flawless execution of browser-based web application automation testing.
- This is a tool by HP and it ensures smooth execution of automated functional and regression tests of an application.
- UFT is mainly important for regression testers.
- It is a tool to test web services and API and it supports both SOAP and REST services.
- One should have knowledge of at least the open-source version of this tool, which is meant for functional testing.
4. RFT (Rational Functional Tester)
- It is IBM’s in-house developed automation tool that supports .NET, Java, SAP, Adobe Flex, Visual Basic, and Dojo.
- No matter what technology is used for the application, RFT will support it.
- This is a highly useful tool for testers who are into functional or regression testing.
- It is the best open-source software that allows automation testing for any hybrid or native mobile app.
- It is compatible across all OS like iOS, Android, and Windows.
- It is a must-learn tool for those who are into the domain of mobile application testing.
6. Apache JMeter
- It is a popular tool designed for measuring the performance and load testing of an application.
- Lately, it can also be used for API performance and service testing.
Knowledge of Development Methodology
The organisations not only expect their engineer to have testing knowledge, but they should also have knowledge of different methodologies. Whenever there is a requirement for test automation, then they should have experience in the following steps too.
- Taking decisions to create an automated test script.
- Acquiring test automation tools.
- Introducing the process of automation testing
- Engaging in test planning, design, and development
- Executing, Reviewing, and Assessing the test.
Test Automation Strategy
- The test automation engineer should be able to create a test automation strategy as it will help to reduce the manual testing hours and offer excellent ROI to the organisation.
- This would include steps like initiating the preparation of that strategy, finalising the tools, and figuring out the overall cost & ROI calculation.
- The test automation engineer should keep themselves updated with the latest trends in software testing and test automation.
- They should be updated with the tools, techniques, and best practices that would help them in crafting the test automation strategies.
The above mentioned skills will help the test automation engineer to acquire high value in today’s market. These skills will also help them to advance from the beginner level to an experienced professional.