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I've been working as a manual QA for a couple of years.

I want to get an automation position. I took Java courses at a local college, I practiced, I learned Selenium, and I'm fairly confident I can pass the interview and do the job.

Unfortunately, to pass an interview, you first need to get invited to one, which is where I'm having trouble. I understand why people are reluctant to interview me as I have no experience, but what can I do?

There is no chance of me doing automation at my current job, and I really want to avoid taking another manual tester job with the 'perspective of doing automation later'. That's what my current job was supposed to be, but ended up being a purely manual position.

I would appreciate any honest advice/opinion.

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Here is a set of things I would do:

  • even though you said your current position is purely manual, I would still look for things that can be automated - this may be some types of tests, or tests for specific features, testing environment setup scripts, or just not-directly related things you do for work every day - automate something to make your and your team's work easier
  • learn and use automated tests for your side projects. If you have a side project, see if you can write automated tests for it. You'll learn new things and will also contribute to building up your test automation experience
  • contribute to open source testing tools. Look into contributing to test automation tools you are looking forward to learn or already learning. There is always something to contribute - you can start with documentation, internal tests, small bug-fixes. This would also enrich your test automation resume as well as be a sign that you are giving back to the community and show your interest in the field overall
  • bring this up to your manager. Express your desires to automate.
  • never stop learning

Related follow-up topics:

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    Thanks, but that doesn't really help.. My teams are doing just fine findind things to automate, and my job is to do the remaining manual work. And there is so much manual work that there is no time for me to automate. No side projects, I'm not sure how i would even find one. As for contributing to open source tools, how does that work exactly? I'm sorry if this is a silly question, but I don't know where to start. I try to keep learning, but that's kind of my point - at some stage you need to do actual work, learning for the sake of learning gets discouraging – Ann Aug 13 '17 at 5:22
  • @Ann good questions! About open-source contributions: this depends on what automation tools you've already tried or want to try next - just to pick an example, explore the selenium's source, look into open issues and see if you can help with resolving them, look into docs and see if things can be improved there. This is not very clear at this point, but if you give it some time and attention you can not only start contributing to open source but also better understand how selenium works internally. And, then, you may also show this as a part of your test automation experience, as a bonus. – alecxe Aug 13 '17 at 5:34
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    Do talk to the automated testers and ask them if you can do some automation for you. Talk to your manager. If you are so strongly pegged as pure manual tester in your current position, you may need to find another position, also starting as manual tester, but with encouragement from management to part-time automate. This interest in becoming a coder should be one of the deciding factors when looking for a new position (if there is no way to do it in your current one). – Peter M. - stands for Monica Aug 14 '17 at 16:56
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    Also, you have weekends to work on your personal projects, so you are sure you have the skills when you need them. – Peter M. - stands for Monica Aug 14 '17 at 16:57

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