In the IT industry especially in software development, quality assurance is paramount. That's where automation testers start. In order to ensure the functionality & reliability of software automation testing plays an important role in software testing. Are you willing to become an automation tester that ensures quality and efficiency of software applications? Are you intrigued by the idea of becoming an automation tester, then you're in the right place. The guide to how to become an automation tester, will help you know the steps about to develop your career in the field of automation testing.
In this comprehensive guide, let’s explore every facet of becoming an automation tester. Starting with the basic concepts, prerequisites, latest tools and techniques here you can get the insights into starting a successful journey in the field of automation testing
Whether you are a seasoned software professional looking to expand your skillset or a newcomer curious about the fascinating realm of testing and automation, know about the essential skills and knowledge to excel in this dynamic field. Let's understand in depth about automation testing and discover the exciting opportunity it offers for your career and the software you help create.
1) Understanding Automation Testing
1.1 What is Automation Testing?
Automation testing is related to using specialised software tools and scripts to perform tests on different software applications. It reduces the need for manual testing as it automates repetitive and time consuming test cases. With the help of automation testing, it increases the reliability and efficiency of the software efficiently and in a cost effective manner.
1.2 Why Choose Automation Testing?
In software testing, automation testing offers efficiency, consistency, reliability, cost savings, and the ability to achieve comprehensive test coverage. These are the advantages for organisations who are aiming to deliver high-quality software in a timely and cost-effective manner
Speed & Efficiency: Automation testing significantly accelerates the testing process, executing test cases as compared to manual testing. In today’s fast paced software development, automation testing is an important aspect for rapid release and continuous integration of software. Automated tests can be run round the clock, delivering faster feedback in short development cycles.
Consistency and Reliability: Automated tests perform the same actions and checks consistently every time they are executed. Automation testing provides reliable and repeatable results whereas manual testing can be influenced by human factors such as fatigue and distraction. This consistency is vital for regression testing, ensuring that existing functionality remains intact as the code evolves
Increased Test Coverage: A broader test coverage can be achieved with automation testing. It helps identify defects and potential issues early in the development process.
Cost Savings: While there is an initial investment, automation testing leads to significant cost savings in the long run. Further, as the volume of tests grows and projects evolve, automation reduces testing efforts, minimizes the need for manual testers, in turn lowering the cost of fixing defects that escape into production.
Regression Testing: Automation excels at regression testing, where one needs to ensure that new code changes have not introduced regressions or unintended side effects. Automation Testing is feasible to perform regression testing with each code change. With help of regression testing, issues can be resolved early that also helps to avoid costly problem in future in the development process
1.3 Skills Required for Automation Testing
Programming Skills: Proficiency in at least one programming language is fundamental for creating and maintaining automated test scripts. Some commonly used languages in automation testing include:
Python: Known for its simplicity and readability, Python is widely used in test automation with frameworks like Selenium and Pytest.
Java: In enterprise environments, java is a popular language for automation testing. It has robust testing frameworks like TestNG and JUnit.
Test Automation Tools and Frameworks: Widely used tools automation tools include:
Selenium: The industry standard for web automation testing, supporting multiple programming languages and browsers.
Appium: It is used for mobile automation testing, testing Android and iOS applications.
TestNG and JUnit: Testing frameworks for Java that aid in test execution, grouping, and reporting.
Cucumber and BDD: Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) frameworks promote collaboration and plain language specifications.
Robot Framework: A versatile, keyword-driven automation framework for web and mobile testing.
1.4 Educational Background
Educational background requirements for software testing can vary depending on the specific role, the company's preferences, and the complexity of the software being tested.
Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or Related Field:
A bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, software engineering, or a related field is often considered an advantage in the software testing field.
Engineering or Science Degrees:
Degrees in engineering (electrical, mechanical, etc.) or natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology) can also be relevant, especially for industries where specialised domain knowledge is essential. Some entry-level testing positions may require only an associate's degree or relevant certifications. Certifications like ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) or Certified Software Tester (CSTE) can demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to the field.
2) Prerequisites for Becoming an Automation Tester
Problem Solving & Soft Skills: Ability to identify, isolate, need to be meticulous in designing test cases & report defects effectively
Testing Concept, Tools & Frameworks: Knowledge of fundamental testing concepts, with popular test automation tools and frameworks.
Problem-Solving and Debugging Skills: Basic knowledge of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is required and also be able to diagnose and troubleshoot issues in your automated test scripts.
Operating System: Must be able to work with different operating systems, as testing involves multiple platforms.
3) Importance of Programming in Automation Testing
Programming is the foundation of creating, maintaining, and executing automated test scripts and hence plays an important role in automation testing.
3.1 Popular Programming Languages for Test Automation
There are different programming languages used in automation testing, it depends on factors like application under test, team expertise, and available tool support
Python: Python is simple and is a good choice for both beginners and experienced software testers. Popular Python testing frameworks include Selenium with Python, Pytest, and Behave (for Behavior-Driven Development).
Java: It is widely used for automation testing with its robust testing frameworks like TestNG and JUnit. Selenium WebDriver
C#: This programming language is used while working with Microsoft technologies and Windows. It pairs well with tools like Visual Studio and Appium for mobile testing.
Ruby: Ruby is used for web automation testing that includes Watir and Capybara frameworks
PHP: PHP is used for web automation testing. PHPUnit is a PHP-based testing framework
Golang (Go):Go testing packages like "testing" and "gorilla" are used for test automation.
3.2 Getting Hands-On with Tools and Frameworks
Along with mastering programming languages, it is also important to experience automation testing tools and frameworks.
Choose a Testing Tool: Select a popular automation testing tool that aligns with your programming language of choice.
Create Test Scripts: Begin by creating simple test scripts to automate straightforward scenarios.
Explore Advanced Features: Explore advanced features of the testing tool, such as handling dynamic elements, test data management, and parallel testing.
Integrate with CI/CD: Learn how to integrate your automated tests with a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline for automated test execution.
Experiment with Different Browsers and Platforms: In order to ensure cross-browser compatibility, the test scripts are done on different browsers and operating systems.
Practice Test Frameworks: If using a testing framework (e.g., Pytest, TestNG), practice creating test suites, organising test cases, and generating test reports.
Debugging and Troubleshooting: Gain proficiency in debugging and troubleshooting techniques for identifying and resolving issues in your test scripts.
Explore Framework Extensions: Many testing frameworks offer extensions and plugins to enhance functionality.
4) Introduction to Automation Testing Tools
Automation testing tools are indispensable, they empower testers to automate repetitive tasks, conduct thorough testing, and ensure the reliability and quality of software applications.
4.1 Selenium: The Industry Standard
Selenium is an open-source automation testing framework used for web application testing. It consists of suite of tools and libraries that support automated testing across different browsers and operating systems
4.2 Test Automation Frameworks
Building a test automation framework can be a significant undertaking, and it requires careful planning and consideration of your project's needs.
Select the Right Tools: Select the automation tools & programming languages that fits your application technology & expertise.
Design the Framework Architecture: Defining an overall structure of your framework, including how test scripts, test data, and reporting will be organised.
Create Reusable Libraries: Develop reusable libraries or modules that encapsulate common functions, such as test setup, teardown, and interactions with the application.
Implement Test Case Design Patterns: Choose a design pattern, such as Page Object Model (POM) for web testing or a suitable pattern for your application type, to enhance maintainability.
Integrate with Version Control: Set up version control (e.g., Git) to manage and track changes to your framework and test scripts.
Incorporate Reporting: Implement reporting mechanisms to capture and present test execution results.
Handle Test Data: Consider data-driven testing approaches and decide how test data will be managed and integrated into your framework..
Define Coding Standards: Establish coding standards and guidelines to ensure consistency and readability of test scripts.
Continuous Integration: Integrate your framework with a CI/CD pipeline to automate test execution and reporting.
Documentation and Training: Document your framework, including usage guidelines and best practices.
Maintenance and Updates: In order to accommodate, regularly review and update your framework
4.3 Setting Up Your Test Environment
Before using the automation testing tool like selenium, it is necessary to set up a test environment. It includes installing software, configuring development environment, and preparing the testing infrastructure
3. Set Up a Web Browser Driver
To interact with web browsers Selenium needs browser-specific drivers. Download and configure the driver for the browser that is intended to automate. Popular browser drivers include ChromeDriver (for Google Chrome), GeckoDriver (for Mozilla Firefox), and EdgeDriver (for Microsoft Edge).
4. Create a Project Structure : Creating a directory structure to organize automation testing projects that includes folders for test scripts, test data, and resources.
5. Configure Test Framework
Depending on your chosen programming language and test framework, you may need to configure additional libraries or frameworks for testing. For example, if you're using Java, you might configure TestNG or JUnit for test management and reporting.
6. Set Up a Version Control System
Implement version control using tools like Git and platforms like GitHub or GitLab. Version control helps to track changes to your test scripts, collaborate with team members, and manage different versions of your code.
7. Create a Test Plan
Before writing test cases, create a comprehensive test plan that outlines the scope, objectives, test scenarios, and acceptance criteria for your automation testing project.
8. Prepare Test Data
Collect and prepare the necessary test data required for your test cases. Test data should cover a range of scenarios, including positive, negative, and edge cases.
9. Write Test Scripts
With your test environment set up and test data ready, start writing test scripts using Selenium WebDriver and your chosen programming language.
10. Configure Test Execution
Configure test execution triggers and reporting mechanisms to automate the testing process.
11. Execute Tests
Execute your automated tests on various browsers and platforms to validate the functionality of the application under test. Monitor test execution and capture test results and logs.
12. Analyze and Report
Analyze test results and generate detailed test reports. Report defects and issues to the development team for resolution. Use the reports to track testing progress and make informed decisions.
4.4 Writing Effective Test Cases
Writing effective test cases is a critical aspect of automation testing; it ensures thorough test coverage and facilitates the early detection of defects.
1. Define Clear Objectives: Define clear objectives for each test case. Understand the specific functionality or feature you want to test and the expected outcome. Have a concise and specific objective.
2. Use a Structured Format: Follow a structured format for documenting test cases. Include sections for test case ID, test description, preconditions, steps to reproduce, expected results, and actual results (for reporting defects).
3. Be Specific and Detailed: Provide detailed and specific instructions for executing the test case.
4. Cover Positive and Negative Scenarios: Ensure that the test cases cover both positive and negative scenarios. Positive scenarios verify that the application behaves as expected under normal conditions, while negative scenarios test error handling and boundary cases.
5. Include Boundary Tests: Test boundary conditions and edge cases. Identify the input values, thresholds, and limits that could potentially lead to unexpected behavior. For example, test with minimum and maximum values, empty fields, and out-of-range inputs.
Conclusion : In the IT industry, automation testing is a continuously evolving field. In order to become an automation tester one needs to consider the above things including a solid understanding of programming languages, coupled with practical experience in using automation testing tools and frameworks, will empower you to create robust automated test scripts and contribute to delivering high-quality software . Along with this one needs to keep learning, and embrace new challenges to excel in the dynamic field of automation testing.