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I was doing pure black box manual testing since 9 years. This year I took initiative and started learning automation tools like selenium, maven, TestNG, Cucumber bdd, Jenkins and contributed to Regression automation frameworks and other projects with my team members.

Now, can I ask for more salary hike for annual appraisal cycle in my company? I think I have delivered more value by doing automation. Do you think its justified.

I do both black box exploratory testing and some Automation work.

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  • I think it is a great question. – dzieciou Dec 20 '20 at 8:49
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Salary hike is not just about what you think you have provided. You have to ask the following questions to the situation.

  1. Can organization hire more experienced talent with much more expertise in test automation for the same salary.
  2. Were you able to showcase the addons brought by test automation by using proper metrics like reduced testing time, faster build feedback, regular build feedback by continuous scheduled automation run etc.
  3. Time taken to triage automation bugs, (Proper reporting helps to understand bug reason faster)
  4. Is automation skills more valued than your 9-year domain experience, its easy to get automation engineers but hard to get domain experts. Example if you extensive data centre and industrial network domain knowledge, you will be harder to be replaced than someone with just automation skills.
  5. Hows the communication skills and value-added to the team as an experienced QA engineer.
  6. Are you able to mentor team members and act as a critical resource.
  7. Do you enable knowledge sharing within the team, did you enabled other team members to move to test automation

These are not an exhaustive list of questions, you can find other self evaluatory questions and ask yourself to know the value you add to the team

Resource worth is not calculated through what they know but through what they brings into team and organization

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  • 2
    Good point about advocating domain knowledge. I remember once working in the airline industry with a former travel agent, who then worked as a tester. Her knowledge about flight booking system interfaces, nomenclature, etc. was very helpful. She then moved to a business analyst position in the same domain. I've never found learning the airline industry as much interesting as test automation, in part, because I thought test automation will give me more options for a job. But as you said, there's also more competition in this field. – dzieciou Dec 20 '20 at 8:55
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    @dzieciou yes its always about what one enjoy and how can they make it productive for the organization – PDHide Dec 20 '20 at 12:32
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A better question might be to ask yourself "Did you add value by solving an problem important for the team/business?"

When we do any activity in software development may be its development, manual testing, automation, requirements analysis etc. ultimately any activity has to add core value to the team/ business by solving a real & important problem.

If we honestly ask this question to ourself and if the answer is yes then I would say yes we should ask for the raise.

In other words-

  • Did you automation catch any actual regression bugs?
  • Did your automation reduced any manual testing cycle time?
  • Is your automation part of any development deployment process?
  • Is your automation focused on any area which having highly defect density?
  • Is your dev team dependent on your automation results for taking any decision?

If your answer is yes for atleast half of the questions , then yes I would say go ask for raise.

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If you only have 1 year of automation testing, I think that asking for a raise is premature. It is now 2021 and software testers are expected to start learning how to use automation or they will become obsolete. They can start contributing by writing testcases conductive for automation, creating test data for data driven automation, and/or coding automated scripts.

On the other hand, since you think you have delivered more value by doing automation, make a case for a raise and be prepared to talk to your boss about it. You will need to provide examples. Maybe there was a high priority project that was behind schedule, and there was no way that it was going to be adequately tested on time. You wrote an automated test script and scheduled it to run overnite and/or over the weekend, and the project was delivered on time.

Good luck !

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  • " If you only have 1 year of automation testing, " @ToastMan how do you calculate value through year of service ? i can be working in automation for 10 years with 0 added value or i can be doing automation for 6 months with 10 times better value. Rise is not related to experience , its about expertise and value – PDHide Jan 7 at 16:32
  • Please read the second half of my post. If he has done a lot in 1 year and can prove it to his boss, then he deserves a raise. If someone has done nothing in 10 years, then they should probably find another line of work ! – ToastMan Jan 7 at 17:06
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Anyone can ask for a raise anytime, really. But in this case specifically, I would say to let your manager know about all the learning that you did, and, all the times that you did the automation job, without asking for any extra compensation, other than the value of learning while getting paid. Now that it is yearly appraisal time would be a perfect time to ask to be upgraded both in pay, and in title. Best of luck to you.

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