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  1. #1
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    Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation?

    Hi all,

    I have got almost 3 years experience in Manual testing. But since ours is a very small company, we rarely used automation tools like QTP and PureTest. For each and every project we mostly depend on manual testing. Even though we plan to automate some scenarios using QTP, we finally end up with the same and routine manual testing due to several limitations like minimum timeframe, limited exposure to automation and even lack of confidence.

    People in our company feel that, time taken for automation a particular scenario is very heavy and also to maintain it in case of future change requests is a very hectic task.

    Also we feel that the scope of finding the functionality bugs is very low when we depend on automation. Hence we do everything manually and even we are very successful though we do everything manually.

    My doubt is.....even though I am very good at manual testing, due to lack of automation exposure, will I get jobs in top MNCs? Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation.

    Any suggestions in these regards please.
    Pragathi G
    SAAU Tech.
    India

  2. #2
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation?

    I would say it depends on where you want your career to go. I made a decision early in my career to be a technical tester so left my first company (small and manual testing only) for a larger company using automation. In my current position, we are at the very early stages in the project LC, there is one manual tester in charge of preparing for the manual test effort and myself in charge of preparing for automated test effort. While there is some overlap in the two roles a lot of the skills required for the two jobs are very different.
    So, this is probably obvious, if the top jobs you refer to are on the manual side or test lead or management it would have a much smaller effect on you not to have automated testing. If you are trying to get a technical position then obviously it will.
    Just remember, automated testing will never replace manual and manual will not replace automated they are two roles that exist in tandum on any large project and each aids the other so elevated positions in both exist, the choice of which path you take is up to you my friend.

    Ger..

  3. #3
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation?

    Your question does not give us enough information to accurately answer.

    "Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation?"

    Necessary for what? What is the goal that exposure to automation will get you to?

  4. #4
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation?

    My feeling is that if you want to move up in the testing field, exposure to automation is required. How, for example, will you be able to manage a test effort that includes both manual and automated test elements if you don't understand the mechanics, problems, and probable problem resolutions for both?

    All experience is valuable and the more you have, the more valuable you become.

    - Linda

  5. #5
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation?

    From waht I've seen, most automation follows manual testing. If you can't test manually, you have no hopes of automating properly.

    Is it needed? Nope.

    You can go throughout your whole career without automation (in both small companies and large). Some of us focus on automation as a way to grow, while others I've met focus on usability or customer interactions. I tend to agree that the more you know, the further you go... but if you're content where you are, then automation may not be needed.

    If you're looking for ways of overcoming your current management hangups with automation... I'd suggest you take on a side-project in some spare minutes.

    Find an inexpensive tool with a demo version (like AutomatedQA's TestComplete) and learn to use it. If you have a few tests that lend themselves well to automation, tackle those tasks with the automated tool.

    I had a hidden configuration setting for a large account that we added into our product a few years back and we almost always forgot to test it since it was so well hidden. I automated turning the option on and then validated the results. That one simple test saved us on more than one occasion where the developers forgot about the option until my automated test failed.

    Saving face in front of a large customer is reason enough for most managers to open up the funding for automation. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  6. #6
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation?

    As others have mentioned, it really does depend on where you want your career to go. I have found that manual testers are typically not as well respected in the software development industry. Now, there are very skilled manual testers out there, and no amount of automation will ever replace a human sitting in front of the software. However, if all you know is black-box testing, typically you will not get very far.

    Automation is just part of the whole world of quality assurance. There is quite a lot of material that automation lends itself well to. But you should also be paying attention to the the many other kinds of testing.

    Automation is frequently viewed as simply having software do what another person can do. That's one side of it. But you could also code directly against your product and write white box tests, acceptance tests on pre-build components, etc.

    So automation alone isn't enough, neither is standard manual testing. But building skills in many areas will make you a much better tester.
    Matt Kosorok
    Software Engineer

  7. #7
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation?

    Pragathi,
    The answer is "NO"!

    Your company has it's head in the sand concerning automation. If I had a dollar for every show stopper that automation has found I'd be rich and retired. But you do not need exposure to it. If you plan to go into it then you will need to get experience somewhere and obviously not where you are now. Perhaps you could put together a truthful presentation to demonstrate how your company can save money with automation. By avoiding Record/Playback and using data driven techniques the maintenance can be kept to a minimum. But start with regression testing to gain an understanding of automation and remember it's Automation not Automagic!
    Personal Comment

    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
    ~ Winston Churchill ~


    ...Rich Wagner

  8. #8
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation?

    Originally posted by Rich W.:
    remember it's Automation not Automagic!
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">Thank you!
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  9. #9
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation?

    First of all thanks for all your suggestions.

    Though I am not completely familiar with automation tools, I automated one major scenario in my project using QTP. The script includes just a 3 page navigation. But the number of iterations it should ran is 600 (we have 600 datasets to be tested). It ran well and we were able to get the expected output.

    But the problem is......even though we performed regression testing on the application for those many iterations, we didn't find even a single SHOW STOPPER bug. All the highest priority bugs were found manually itself. Not only in this project but in the previous project also the situation is same.

    So, we felt that scope of finding bugs using manual testing is much more when compared to automation. Due to this we concentrated more on manual testing and gave a very less priority to automation.
    Pragathi G
    SAAU Tech.
    India

  10. #10
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    Re: Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation?

    Originally posted by Pragathi V:
    Hi all,
    My doubt is.....even though I am very good at manual testing, due to lack of automation exposure, will I get jobs in top MNCs? Is it necessary for a tester to have an exposure to automation.

    Any suggestions in these regards please.
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">I had asked this question myself and IMHO, a little of it does more good than nothing. However not all is lost if you do not move into automation. when i started to learn, I used the demo versions of most available tools to get a feel of how they work , I went through their guides repeatedly to understand their concepts, and it helped a lot. You could start there to gain some knowledge yourself.
    The best of the automation would start from scripting small things using DOS or Perl or VB/WSH. A combination of these would let you do a lot more automation that you can imagine. and most automation tools use one such similar language.
    If you choose to do no automation at all, it would still be fine and you can still land up in one of those hot jobs provided you can master the concepts of atleast one domain, say banking or telecom for example.
    Cheers,
    Suresh


    http://cognitive-content.blogspot.com

    It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory -W Edwards Deming

 

 
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