I have a fear that in few years companies will deploy AI based robotic process test automation tools and my java selenium programming skills will become obsolete.
It is hard to predict the future. You might need new (AI) skills to work on new projects. Keep in mind old projects exist for a long time. Some programmers still program in Cobol and are paid very well today.
I recently switched to a government employer and they are living at least 15 years in the past. My previously un-used Selenium skills translated very well to this environment. Before the majority here trusts AI testing tools it needs to be an international standard first, this will probably take another 10 years. Using Machine Learning to automate people is also still frowned upon here.
If programmers and testers will be fully replaced by AI, that means most jobs will be replaced by AI. Thus we need to redesign society. Jobs will be no more. Although I hope this will go faster, I do not expect this to happen within my working lifetime (25 years left).
My advice is to keep researching and experiment with new tools in the market.
I think the concept of being valued for the java skill shows that you are missing the point of being agile. The 4 main pillars of Agile way of working are
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
You should not be tied to a specific set of tools but should be skilled to investigate, research and identify the best solution for the problem in-hand. For example try investigating the benefits of using protractor for an angular website, the postman for API testing, and other tools that overcome the complexity and bottlenecks of current solutions.
The tools and technology will evolve rapidly , and as an engineer your task is to identify the best solution that is applicable to your context as testing or any activity is context depended. For example, if it's a simple one page single frame wapplication you don't have to complicate it with huge framework and designs and cause proliferation of classes.
Coming back to the question
Software testing has different scopes on different levels. Most AI tools concentrate mainly on functional UI testing but have huge maintenance bottleneck as the test case and test coverage grows.
Also, AI solution lacks UX/UI experience testing capability, that's why we have exploratory test cloud still in the testing pyramid.
- In the current state AI is still in the learning phase and its long time before it could be completely trusted to be matured enough.
- We still need human intervension
- If in future if AI becomes matured enough , you as a quality engineer should be more than happy to replace current implementations with AI or any better tools that would be more beneficial compared to the effort involved in the migration.
Java-selenium skill set is not a non-acquirable valued skill that makes someone a highly demanded non-replacable resource:
What makes work valuable are :
- Debugging skills
- Fast learning skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Collaboration skills
- Team skill