How to Become an Automation Test Engineer

Test automation is a type of testing when engineers use scripts with the help of a computer test software code to check it for errors, bugs, and other inconsistencies.

So, if you see your career as an automation test (or automation QA) engineer, the first thing that you’ll have to learn and master the basics of a programming language. It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete newbie in development, or you just want to switch from manual testing, you’d better start acquiring hands-on experience in programming languages.

For instance, the most popular ones are Java, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, C/C++ and so on. You can start with one language but then proceed with some other language. If you just start your career, make research and choose the language which is the most demanded. But if you already have a position at an IT company, pick up the language that is needed for the company’s projects.

It’s possible to do without knowledge of programming language, but if you really want to master automation testing, you should definitely consider learning the basics of software development languages.

And once you’ve done it, you’ll need to become proficient in several tools that are based on the programming language you’ve learned. These tools can be a test runner, a library for automated testing of APIs, UI test automation, etc.

But there are other default skills and knowledge that you need to use and fully understand to become an automation test engineer. Here are some of them:

  1. You need to have a deep understanding of computer or system administration. Without it it’s impossible to work in software testing.
  2. You should also learn how to use the terminal, let it be the Windows terminal, the Linux one, or any other operating system. It’s installed by default on almost all OSs out there.

A terminal is a tool that helps you access programs and performs tasks with the help of various commands but without a user interface.

  1. Comprehension of databases like SQL and others will give you a considerable advantage in software testing.
  2. HTML & CSS are important for automation test engineers as more and more projects in the IT market are becoming web-oriented.
  3. It would be an advantage if you also know how to work with different browsers like Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc., and to understand their browser developer tools.

Browser developer tools are the tools that help perform a wide range of tasks — from inspecting an HTML to identifying issues of page accessibility. For instance, one of the most widely-used browsers in the world Google Chrome has Chrome DevTools.

  1. You should learn how to use test management tools. You can take a look at qTest, QAComplete, TestRail, QACoverage, PractiTest, Zephyr, TestMonitor, XQual, and many others.
  2. Tracking tools are an important part of the life of a person related to software engineering and testing. For example, JIRA is the most popular one and if you start mastering it, you definitely can’t go wrong with it.
  3. The English language is a must not only in automation testing but in the whole IT industry, especially if you want to work for an international company.
  4. Your other soft skills are not less important than hard ones. You’re going to work with a team of various people — your colleagues, clients, and so on. That’s why it’s vital to have proficient communication skills, good time management, to have a curious mind, and to know how to work well in a team as well as on your own.

So these are the skills and knowledge that will greatly help you on your way of becoming an excellent automation test (automation QA) engineer. But if you still have some doubts and you don’t know where to start, you can always apply for automation QA courses at DEVrepublik.

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