I am a test engineer with about 7 years of work experience. I am not an computer science / engineering graduate. I have done a post graduate conversion course that included a good mix of software engineering and management subjects.And my experience so far has been in both manual and automation testing.
Through my years of experience I have acquired good knowledge and practices around the testing paradigm - its methodologies, and have been able to successfully complete projects with a good testing approach, scope and the likes. In terms of automation, I can develop test cases easily, but not really develop frameworks. I find myself a little lagging behind in automation in this regard. Though I can grasp and comprehend practices and approaches used in automation, I am not necessarily an automation expert.
The situation I am in is - that to me, it looks like automation is valued more in teams these days. And since I am aware I am not proficient in it, at least not as much as I'd like to be, I feel I might not be able to grow in the QA hierarchy.
Though I believe automation is a tool among many other things that make up the QA paradigm, I think manual testing is grossly under-rated. So, my questions are:
- Is it a correct inference in today's software world, that in order to grow in the QA organization, one must champion automation skills? (in any 1 language that is. I know. I am not talking about knowing how to code. I am talking about knowing how to build frameworks hands-on)
- How do I market, my capabilities in a way that does not show my lack of automation expertise in a bad way, but I am able to convince my peers and manager that I still have what it needs to climb the rungs of QA ladder?
- How do I leverage my QA skills so that I do not fall behind my peers who have the automation expertise advantage?
- What other skills should I be proficient at, in order for me to be considered promotional material?
Note: It is not that I am not trying to strengthen my automation skills, I am. But do I need to?
IMPORTANT: I want to let the readers know that I am a believer in automation. The question is not about whether one should automate or not. The question is that skill needed at expertise level to get up the rungs of the corporate ladder in QA vertical.