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Learning to Automate
Lonely tester, fully intune with testing methods....Ready for the next step - AUTOMATION.
Problem - company can't afford £1500, let a lone £15000.
Still tester knows that to get on in live, he will have to automate, and so he reads, and reads, and reads.
How does he get his teeth into automated testing - should rational, mercury et all. not provide a sample application (NOT time limited) so that testers can learn the application, and then persuade future employers to buy it - seems like sense to me.
Has anyone got any tips/ideas?
Re: Learning to Automate
Well, I can tell you how I did it. The first company that I was at that used automation at all had used Segue's toolset. I wanted to broaden my horizons so I went to the Web sites of other vendors. They often allow you to download a trial version and get a license. For example, RadView and Empirix let you do this. Try:
Sometimes the companies have lower-end solutions you can practice with by downloading trials of those. Mercury Interactive has its Astra line, for example, such as Astra QuickTest, Astra LoadTest, etc. Check out:
You could also download something like Rational's Visual Test. Check out:
When you cannot get the tools via those means, such as is the case with SilkTest (from Segue) or WinRunner (from Mercury), you can usually just call or send an e-mail and get an evaluation copy sent to you. I have done that with many companies, telling them that I wanted to evaluate the product for a company. (Actually this always been true but I was not always certain the company really was going to purchase regardless of my evaluation.) The tool vendor will often send you a timed license for a given period of time in which you can evaluate the product.
The bottom line is do what you have to do as a tester: be resourceful. Just by checking the Web sites, as I just showed you, you can find out if they have "Try Its" or evaluations that you can download. And, of course, an obvious thing to do is contact the company if you do not see anything on their Web site for an evaluation. Some companies will not just send you an evaluation for your own edification (because of the cost of sending out the full evaluation package), so keep that in mind.
By the way, the evaluations will always be time limited. It would sort of defeat the purpose for the company if they were not. But I have found you can learn the basis of any automated tool, including its language, in the time that is allotted with most licenses. Just plan the evaluation for a time when you know you will have enough time to devote to learning as much as you can.
[This message has been edited by JeffNyman (edited 02-07-2002).]