I have 8 years experience in manual testing. I've just gotten interested in automation testing now. Just wanted to know if learning selenium at this point of my career will add value. If yes, then in what way will it help me to grow?
Of-course it will add value, automated testing is partly programming. Understanding the challenges the developers have while making software products you test is very good.
With 8 years of experience you could be under 30 or 55+ in age, depending on how old you are I would decide if you want to learn programming skills and pick it up or not. Also even if test automation will not become your primary work, you might need to hire and or work with "Software engineers in Test" and understanding their work might greatly enhance insights in the work you do and not do as a manual tester in a team where tests are also automated.
Have you tried programming in some languages easy for beginners, like Python? Did you like it? If you did, adding test automation to your skills is positive.
But if you did not like programming, adding skills for a job you do not enjoy will make you miserable and makes no sense. You may consider becoming a test manager instead (or continue to be an even better manual tester). Or consider learning usability design.
Using Selenium means writing (and debugging) programs. Many smart people do not want to be programmers, and are perfectly fine.
There are many benefits that come from learning test automation with selenium and java (or other language).
If you want your career to focus on functional testing or lead/manager roles, learning test automation will help mostly with your overall testing education.
On the other hand, if you start thinking about expanding your skills from functional testing to testing types that are more technical, selenium and java are the correct step in that direction.
By more technical testing types, I understand
- test automation
- performance testing
- api testing
They all need a good grasp of core skills such as
- a programming language
- xml and xpath
- html and css
- regular expressions
- http and browsers
Knowing more than functional testing means that you will be able to wear multiple testing hats which makes you more employable.
If you just compare pure manual testing jobs with test automation ones, the competition for the first job type is very high compared with the second.
I hear again and again about test automation positions that stay not filled for a long time due to not enough testers with automation skills.
See more about moving from manual testing to automation on this article: http://test-able.blogspot.com/2015/07/from-manual-testing-to-test-automation.html
Learning new technical things will definitely boost your career. That too, a free software like Selenium with huge employment, will certainly uplift the career ladder. A
* Your experience will help to manage teams. If you know Automation, you could drive a team with automation skills as well.
* There are no. of onsite chances (if you wish to go to abroad) which is added benefit here.
One necessary thing here is - Learning Automation or Selenium should be your own interest (as you stated). This decision should not be taken for job openngs which may end up with spoiling the total career.
From my experience, Yes. It definitely helped my career. I was recently in the job market and in my area all of the good jobs wanted automation experience. If QA is the path you want to continue to follow I would suggest learning Selenium with either Python, Java, or C#. Those are the 3 you will see most often. As someone stated above, salaries are higher and a lot more opportunities over manual testing. Search for QA jobs in your area and see what the requirements are.
Yes you should move to automation after this great experience in manual testing. I think you are little bit late , Tester should move to automation as soon as possible for strong career. Many tester move to automation just after 1-2 years experience in manual testing. It is depends on opportunity for automation and interest of tester.
Your decision is good but first of all you should have following when you are thinking to move for automation and especially for selenium :
1 - Good logic development skill
2 - Interest in programming
3 - Basic command over any one programming language from selenium supported [Java,Python,Ruby,Php,c#]
Once you move and start for automation , It will help in following way to your career :
1 - Salary package is high for automation tester rather than manual tester
2 - You will have many good scope for career based on automation
3 - Automation testing will help you to save time and efforts