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
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 standalone 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 username 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 “Username” 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 username 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.
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?