Hi All, I'm faced with an issue at work which I would like some advice on. I've been working at a small company for over six years now. I initially started out as developer (for which I am qualified for) but due to need I moved over to QA. I performed the more technical testing, coding applications to test our in-house applications validating the data that services supplies our customers with. Financially our company is doing good but we are performing very poorly at adequately remunerating employees or growing employees' skillsets, and as a result we go through employees like toilet paper.

I was very privileged to have had a good mentor/manager to work under until he moved on to greener pastures, and we were left without a manager other than the Department Manager to manage us, which was never around. QA's numbers dwindled and I initially applied for the QA Team Lead position, but was denied due to them simply stating that I did not have the right qualifications. We went through a few more managers which was really hard to find but the company felt that they were simply not adequate. I then requested support to do a formal ISTQB Manager course so I can re-apply for the QA Team Lead and was told "it was about whether or not I can do the job, and had nothing to do with qualifications" and was put on QA Team Lead probation.

My first goal was, as there was a high demand for QA time was to get in more people, so the company appointed one jnr level tester and a driver, to save cost I assume. I needed them both to be at higher level of skill to accommodate testing so I put in extra after hour time to training them SQL, JMETER, JSON, XML, SOAP and so on. Second order of business was to put in the elbow grease, and get all our test cases up to date so we can actually test and not waste the day's booked time creating test cases and testing the same time. In the meantime I'm also being introduced to attending more and more managerial meetings if one can call it that and still do the work that Iím fully booked on, but Iím took it in my stride. Iím being told by PMís, other managers even directors, how glad they are that things are going so smoothly for the first time and that we are doing such a great job in testing.

Today (3 months after my probation started) I had a pre-performance meeting just to check on how things are going, I expected some praises on the turnaround I made with QA, but was basically told by my IT department manager that he expected more in that we build more automated testing. The coded applications that I run to test in-house applications is too complex, it needs to happen in a more friendly gui, like tool at a click of a button, preferably something FREE and open source and not something coded, ďlike the auto deployment tools that the developers useĒ.

We mostly develop REST services that are consumed by CMS websites or Mobile Applications (DROID, iOS and BB). So Iím looking for preferably single free tool which can cover both stress testing and validation testing, that covers both web and mobile ďat a click of a buttonĒ and currently it seems like Selenium is the popular option at the moment but it again will require time lot of time to learn/teach and then to convert manual test cases into automated ones. My best guess is that we are about a yearís worth of time behind and that what he wants cannot simply happen at the snap of the finger.

I want to know whether the Selenium is a good route to take, or are there simpler tools/solutions that Iím missing? Also it feels to me like the majority of feedback basically forced the department manager into having to give me the position even though he might or might not like it, but now since he has too heíll make sure that he gets more than their moneyís worth, also looking back at the way Iíve been treated it looks like they donít really want me to get ISTQB Manager qualifications otherwise I might leave the company.