Software testing is not what it used to be a decade ago. Manual Testing used to have a vast scope while the concept of automated testing was just a theory, with very few players in commercial and open source tools. Now, the software testing industry is at a phase where the favours are more bent towards the automated testers while the manual testers are left with accomplishing the task of testing the areas which automation tools cannot test or inefficient. Due to the rapid technological advancement (artificial intelligence etc.) and aim for cost cutting measure the world has seen over the past few decades, the reason is self-explanatory.
Manual testing is a process that requires less or no coding knowledge, whereas automation testers work on coding almost all the time. The difference is simple, but covering up that difference requires hard-core knowledge, practice and labour. Many manual software test engineers today have realised that in this new technological era, automation is the key to survival, and in order to land an automation job, coding is a necessary evil.
So, the major question is how can a manual tester make a career shift to automation testing? It is obvious that one cannot shift to automation testing overnight; therefore, it is very common to find people looking for inspirations and ways in which they can make their change less painful.
Accept the Change Mentally
Many manual testers wish to land an automation job with qualifications of manual testing. The process of learning coding is tedious and for a person working as a manual tester for so long, this means going back to square one. Hence, they either keep on searching for manual testing jobs or look for companies that are hiring automating personals with no coding experience.
However, facing the truth, there are now only limited job available in manual testing field and even if you are successful in finding one, the competition is too high. On the other hand, the professionals appearing for “no coding experience required” interviews are only rejected over the ones that have some knowledge of coding.
Even the persons who believe that manual testing is an effective way to build a productive QA, the process is just getting more and more difficult, especially when the regression testing, where it is checked whether the new code changes didn’t break the old functionality, comes into play.
It is high time that you realize the industrial change mentally and smartly proceed in ways that can help you make the career change easy, not immediately, but effectively.
Take Measures to Learn Coding
Yes, learning coding means spending a lot of your quality time studying and practicing it. Sadly, the alternative to learning coding is much worse. You might be able to land a few left over manual testing jobs for now, but soon even those will perish and later when you will finally understand that coding is necessary and decide to learn it, you will be left behind with the rest of the world already advanced.
Instead of reaching the point of saturation, it is better to start taking measures to learn coding. If you are confident, you can gain the basic knowledge on your own through online research and later join courses that will help you move forward effectively.
Remember, learning coding is not easy and requires quality time studying and practicing. You can start with popular automation tool Selenium WebDriver, which is a free open source library that can be used with Java, Python and Ruby. It will be obviously very confusing and brain tampering in the beginning, but you will surely get the knack of it once you start getting used to it.
Many manual testers turned automation testers, who are now at good automation testing positions confirm that this transition of learning coding is the most difficult step, but once you cross this step, the journey becomes significantly easy, efficient and fun.
Learn the current Automation Tools
Learn the popular automation tools of the day. Selenium and other automation tools are becoming popular and many companies are hiring testers with these skills. Join a good Selenium Training Institute in your area and learn the practical knowledge. Ask about the framework and practical challenges in the industry. Learning automation is not just learning record and playback in some tools. Learn the actual work by taking up a project with guidance from your trainer.
Realize Your Own Benefits in Making this Change
For any working professional in any industry, profit is one of the main factors that drive them forward. Even for manual testers, realizing the benefits in making this transition can be extremely helpful in successfully making their career change.
To begin with, you gain the skill of coding! If you wish to, instead of just stopping at automation testing, you can take a step ahead and see if you have the potential to be a developer too. Obviously, being a developer means higher pay and more job opportunities.
Secondly, companies prefer professionals who are practically experienced and frankly know what they do. Many companies these days are hiring manual testers with coding knowledge for automation jobs as manual testers have field experience and know their job well.
Finally, things like more job opportunities, better pay, promotions, bonus and other good things are also added on this list.
Keep Practicing and Help Others
Coding has no limits to learning. There are endless ideas and many different platforms and languages one can explore. The more you practice, the better are your chances of landing a quality job. Keep practicing what you have learnt and apply them in various situations to perfect it.
Other way of improve your own coding methods is to help others do it. There are many people looking for effective coding help and you can help them to help yourself. Working with others is a great way to share and gain knowledge, the same goes with coding. Social Media and Internet has brought the world closer to everyone, look for people who need help and in turn can help you.
Do not wait for others to look for you, instead be found. Look into automation opportunities daily and keep on applying for them till you land on one. Gain work experience, tap into your networks and keep practicing, there is no limit to what you can do in software industry. Working with dedication and keeping your options always open will eventually open your ways to automation testing.