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I am working hourly for low wage as a QA intern/tester. I want to learn more about this field. I have already graduated, so everything I have learned is self taught or learned somehow on the job. At my job we only do manual testing, but it's not much of an experience anymore. I've been here a year (while looking for new jobs but having trouble getting calls back).

Also, it would be nice to see example of real QA engineers automation scripts that they made at work and how hard it was or how long it took

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Can I asky why automation ? Why is manual testing not an attractive option for you ? Do you spend your time writing and running scripts ? –  Phil Kirkham Sep 5 '12 at 23:59
    
the same situation is here with me i am in manual testing but i am the only tester in my company so i cant learn new tools or anything i also want to grow up with automation testing please help us –  user3044 Sep 6 '12 at 5:19

5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You've got quite a few questions in your one question, but overall it sounds like what you want answered is: How can I learn to write automation so I can switch from a 100% manual testing role into a role that involves writing automation. I'll get to answering that one, but first...

Honestly, if you are already manually testing in your current position, why not start by trying to automate some of the scenarios that you are manually testing now? It will show initiative on your part, make your job easier and could potentially get you a raise or promotion (depending on the company/team and how successful the automation is). Trying to go out and find a job that requires you to write automation with no experience writing automation or at least experience writing code is going to be difficult if not impossible. If for some reason your company is adamantly against automation and you need something else to write automation for, look into any open source tools online and see if you can help add automated tests for those tools. This would give you a side benefit of learning a lot about those tools.

You said "my main GOAL is that I want to learn automation, right now its only a theory to me i dont even know how people do it or learn it, googling is not really helping either". I'll try to give you a simple explanation... Automated tests are any test that a program executes via direct calls to an API (or web service or sql query, or etc) or via simulated mouse and keyboard actions rather than manual user input. Automated tests can be created and executed through the use of record and playback tools, or by executing an application that makes calls into automation libraries (such as selenium) to simulate user actions. If that sounds vague, that's because it is - automation can be so many different things. One "type" of automation that is probably the most common is UI automation and might be a good place to start.

Most QA folks that I know with no programming or automation experience started with some simple UI automation. Selenium is a great tool to learn to write UI automation because it is relatively simple and widely used in the industry to test web pages. There are tons of examples and documentation online - http://code.google.com/p/selenium/wiki/GettingStarted - in all languages including python - http://coreygoldberg.blogspot.com/2011/07/python-getting-started-with-selenium.html, http://python.dzone.com/articles/python-getting-started.

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I second that! That's exactly how I learn automation - although I am a manual tester I try to automate the most tedious tasks. When I joined my company hardly anything was being automated. Now it's getting better because my friend and me pushed for automation. Our first automated tests were... (well, I don't want to remember that, I am still ashamed of my old code). But with every test you write you will be getting better. My advice would be to start from small things. Try to write a few simple tests. You will likely run into problems, you will google for solutions and that's how you learn... –  JacekM Sep 6 '12 at 15:44

Welcome to SQA, Jacob. First of all, it is understandable that a low-wage intern would want to find a higher-wage job. It is certainly possible to make a decent living as a manual tester. You said you are looking for a new job but are having trouble getting calls back. When I graduated from college, I had no idea what was important in a resume. If you have any doubts about the quality of your resume, you might try asking someone you respect to review it for you. (If the way you wrote your question is indicative of how your wrote your resume, you might have trouble getting HR people to take you seriously.)

QA automation is the intersection of two skill sets: testing and programming. Testing can be boring at times, but to be good at QA automation, you need to be good at both skills. If you want to program but don't want to test, you may find that QA automation is not for you. (And if your real interest is to use QA automation as a stepping stone into development, read this.)

I think the best way to get started in automation is to automate your QA setup tasks. Almost any testing job involves setup tasks that are repetitive, time consuming, and/or error-prone. Writing some code to make those tasks faster and/or consistently correct will save you time, and may even save time for your co-workers. (For example, the automation might install software for you, or create test data, or configure files a certain way.) An advantage of this kind of automation is that its benefits are measurable. If you do something that is measurably beneficial, your manager will be more willing to let you spend more of your time that way. And measurable successes are great things to put on your resume.

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Yes, many (most? almost all?) test automators learned on their own, although I suppose a quick web search would turn up some training companies in your part of the world.

You've only been testing for 1 year, and are bored already? That's not a good sign, and perhaps this isn't the field for you. Testing/QA/Test automaton - all can indeed be boring at times. But perhaps you'll find automation less boring.

I would suggest finishing what you have already started and finish the python book. (It's important to prove to yourself and others that you can finish something.) Then move on to other books.

Look for opportunities at your current work to utilize some of what you have learned. Good test automators can find many, many such opportunities.

You want to learn how to make web crawlers, but don't even know what a web crawler is? What leads you to want to make one in the first place? You may wish to start by learning what they are first (a few searches will help you learn).

Good luck, practice patience, learn automation by doing it.

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How about learning testing ? Read this blog post from Alan Page for a somewhat different view of automation and testing. ( hint, good automation is not just automating a manual test ) Picking up a copy of Everyday Scripting With Ruby by Bruan Marick for ideas on how automation can be used in a number if ways to help testing.

And try this article from Adam Goucher

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+1 for good references. –  Chris Kenst Sep 6 '12 at 21:19

Jacob, if you want to look on some examples for Selenium Webdriver + Python, then I would advice you to search the code on Github: http://goo.gl/UjXgw

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