10 Awesome Tips to Become a Better Automation Tester

Automation Testing is every tester’s dream. We all want be automation testers. But only a few of us are successful at it. Here are some simple measures that will help you be the kind of superb automation tester that you desire to be.

10 Tips to Make You a Good Automation Tester

Tip #1: Learn the basics of testing very well:

Automation tester

This is because Automation Testing is nothing but a branch of testing – a form that uses a little more ‘techie’ approach to testing itself. To know what you are testing and why you are testing is very important. ‘How’ – is where Automation and manual testing differ.

Tip #2: Start early:

Do not wait for an automation project to come your way before you get started. There are lots of open source tools available. Install one on your personal machine and give it a try. Use the generic applications like Gmail.com or Amazon.com or even your stand alone Microsoft Office or Calculator. Anything, basically.

Tip #3: Familiarize yourself with the basic coding concepts:

Familiarize yourself with the basic coding concepts in any language of your choice. When you take a moment to closely consider what a programming language consists of, most of them are more or less the same. Take VB Scripting for example; you will need to know the data types, the way in which variables and constants are handled, the different operators, conditional statements, loop statements, arrays, functions etc. Once you understand these concepts you can easily extrapolate your knowledge to any language. So give yourself at least a week to thoroughly understand these concepts.

Tip #4: Overcome the ‘starting trouble’:

The first test/program that you write is going to be confusing no matter how well read you are on the subject. It definitely is going to be overwhelming. But do not worry. Think of it as if you are translating your manual test into a different medium other than English.

Tip #5: Don’t be intimidated:

It is very easy for a beginner to look at an automation test or program and think that it looks very technical and that you will never be able to even understand it much less write something like that. Don’t worry; it is natural to feel this way.

For example, if you want to enter the user name value in the Gmail.com login page. What is the statement that you would write in your manual test case?

It will be like: Enter “swatiseela” in the “User name” field in the Gmail.com page.

When you translate it to VBScript to be a statement in your QTP test it will be:


“Browser("Gmail: Email from Google").page("Gmail: Email from Google").WebEdit("Email").Set “swatiseela””.

You see, there is not much difference.  The way you are referencing the place to enter the user name is done differently.

Since each automation test step is performed by a machine instead of a human, you just have to make sure that you write your instruction (test step) as clearly as possible without any ambiguity.

Instead of just saying enter the value, you are actually supplying the exact names of the objects in the page as they are named by the developer.  Once you are able to grasp this translation, automation is easy.

Tip #6: Learn by seeing:

This is the strategy I personally follow any time I have to work with a new tool. Every tool that comes onto the market, no matter how technically robust it is, tries to be user friendly. So all the features of the tool should be accessible from the menu.

Here is what I do – I start from the “File” menu option and move on through until I reach “Help” and try to give a perfunctory glance at each and every menu-submenu item. Most of the names will be representative of what that option does. But in case you need more information, just click on that item and look. If you still need more info, use the help file. This way you are not waiting for someone to give you the knowledge on the tool. You are familiarizing yourself with the tool and the IDE using your initiative. It helps you assess what is going to be useful to you and what is not.

Tip #7: Help files:

Many of us look for online tutorials and forums to get started. While they are all great, nothing comes close to the help files that come with the tool. It is your biggest treasure. It describes everything that the tool can ever do. So consider every automation program you write as an open book examination. The open book being the help file. Make that your first destination whenever you are lost.

Tip #8: Practice:

Be patient with yourself and practice writing code regularly. Remember that testing is verification and validation. So write tests in a way that each one has pass and fail criteria clearly defined. You don’t want an automation tool to just do the data entry and leave the analysis to you. Make sure your program will be able to clearly determine and present the result as pass or failed.

Tip #9: Strive to be better:

Once you solve a problem and write a program, think of ways you can make it better. Can you make it more readable? Can you achieve the result in fewer lines of code? Can you reuse some of the components? Can you avoid using as many variables as you did? Is your program memory efficient? Can you make it run any faster? – These are some of the questions that you need to keep in mind and work towards.

Tip #10: Keep an open mind:

While automation testing is great and gives the testers a ‘God-Complex’, we have to accept that in some cases it is just not the way to go. At such times, be graceful about it because testing is our primary objective, whether we take the automation route or the manual route.

Conclusion:

I hope this article has answered some questions that all you aspiring automation testers must have had. If you decide to venture into it and have any further reservations, please let us know through the comments. Is there anything in this article with which you strongly agree or disagree?

This is a guest article by Swati Seela. She is also an instructor for our online software testing course. If you are looking for the best software testing training course, your search ends here.

=>> Best Software Testing Online Training Course

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25 comments ↓

#1 Anish

Completely agree with all the points.. Especially point #7. I have experienced it myself. Help files are a treasure. But there is another point to it. Many a times, a help guide is too straightforward/bland/boring/difficult to grasp (for absolute beginners). That is where a forum or a blog or a video tutorial pitches in.

What do you think?

#2 Venki

Exactly, Anish. I agree with you. But we should have enough patience to read and get understand help file content. However, we should get hands on immediately, once you learn anything through help files/video tutorials.
I found this article as very enthusiastic for any beginner of automation testing. I liked the tip#9. Not only we should perform always, but we should always try performing same in better ways and keep our knowledge growing. Nice one.

#3 Akhil

I see some real practical tips. Great stuff.

I like Tip #4: Overcome the ‘starting trouble’.
this is where most of the automation testers fail.

#4 Swati

@Anish: i agree. Unfortunately help files are tedious. But ever treasure needs some digging :)

#5 Thanh

Great tips. However, I see many people failed to understand why we need to automate and how to design the test well. I think those are important too.

#6 Siddhant Raut

Thanks for posting…..
i am happy with #8 Practice that i got what mistakes i was doing in my practice…..

#7 Swati

@Thanh: You bring up a very valid point. We will write a piece on how to design effective automation tests soon. Thank you for your feedback.

#8 Rasika

All to the point. #4 is the hardest to overcome usually. No matter how well read and how other ppl have done the same, sometimes it just doesn’t work in your machine !! (opposite of “it works in my machine by the bug fixers” ) So you need to be patient and troubleshoot each and every level. Never expect it to work after you corrected the initial issue ! This is a good time to get some help from the experts (if they are willing)

then comes number #10. At a certain point the automation testers are at a stage that they are familiar with the language, the framework and the best practices. This is where some people get the “we’re better than the manual testers” or “god complex” (depending on the level of conceitedness lol). At this point they try to automated one time tests and basically say to everyone and everything “just automate it” and start looking down on the manual testers AND refuse to do manual testing saying “i’m not a manual tester”. which is another way of saying I’m too lazy to use my brain and verify things manually in my opinion.

And finally, google is your friend ! (anytime you’re stuck, pay a visit to the “all knowing entity” lol) and i guarantee you, there have been plenty of people who came across the same issue and have found some resolutions for it already.

#9 dhaval

can anyone please tell me that which book is the best one to learn VB script for QTP i dont know anything about this language completely new..

thanks in advance !!!

#10 ravi

Please dont join Seed Infotech and Mind Script for QTP course.. I learn nothing from faculty.

#11 Swati

@dhaval: I’m not sure about a text book but once you download QTP(trial) in the help files there is a reference guide and i find the comprehensive enough. why don’t you give that a try and see if it helps.

#12 abdul

A very informative and well written article. Tip #3 and 5 are very useful and it happens to me many times. At times, you think you wouldn’t be able to shift from manual testing to automation testing because of the technical robustness of the tool. A lot of things are happening in the Automation testing world and in the last few years, we have seen that test engineer has evolved as completely different field of study in the software world.

#13 Fatima

Any QTP learning centers in Chennai ?

#14 Jose

All these steps are very helpful in becoming a good automation tester. Luckily there are testing programs that don’t require any scripting. Programs like NRG Global’s AppLoader automatically create the script for a test as you use the application. Learn more about programs like this at http://www.nrgglobal.com/load-testing-tools/software-quality-assurance-and-load-testing-apploader

#15 Sandip Shinde

All Steps are awesome for become Good Automation tester, in addition if get Project online that will great

#16 vicky

Which is the best automation tool to learn at present and which automation tool is more scope & useful in future? Please suggest.

#17 priti

good post

Once I have to work on loadrunner
, most of part i learned from help files it selt and self study and practice
very usefull post

#18 Swati

@vicky: every tool has its own pros and cons. QTP is the standard from a long time for functional testing, but it is expensive …as an open source tool, selenium is gaining popularity. These two I think are important to watch out for.

#19 Sruthy

Good post..
I have just started learning automation.. Can you please tell me how to generate test reports from uiautomator?

#20 dhaval

hello all.

can anyone please tell me which automation tools do not require any coding knowledge. since coading is bool sucker thing.

thanks

#21 Darshil

Hello Swati nice article and nice tips on how to perform automation testing Thanks for sharing it and is also for letting all of us know how an automation testing should be perform..Thanks once again….

#22 manvi

Hello swathi sheela..!

This is an awesome article . It was very easy and good explanation of the contents.

#23 Phindile

Thank you for the tips.
I fee under pressure as our client wants automated tests, otherwise there’s no need to keep me. Now I have to do automation testing. The client has selected the use of Selenium, I think I’ll start with #2 install the software and play around with it. I have this fear of failing and of losing my job.

#24 Prashant

These 10 points i will keep in mind while i write Test cases.From the Last 1 Month back I am working on Automation.Really this article helps lot.Thanks for your guidance Swati.

#25 pratik

gud tips……..very useful

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