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After working 4 years as manual tester, I now want and have to learn "how to do test automation" after joining a new company.

My new team is currently developing a new web app in Visual Studio using the .NET technology in C#.

My job will be to create automated test cases (functional/UI tests) as soon as the app is ready in about 2 months.

After making some researches and discussing with my team, they mentioned Selenium.

Now I've got some question, which I hope, can be answered here:

A. What should I first focus on as a beginner with no knowledge in automated testing? Should I first learn C#? Or start directly learn Selenium (or other testing tools?)

B. How much experience do I need in C#, to fully use Selenium? Is it enough when I know the basics in C#? Or do I need advanced/expert knowledge in C# for selenium?

C. Today, I had my first talk with a tester from a other team and he mentioned “Tosca”. I googled the difference between Tosca and Selenium. And both are being used very differently. Maybe someone here used both and could give me his opinion on both testing tools? Are both covering the same test cases?

D. Are there any other tools needed for automated testing beside of Selenium or Tosca, which I should look at?

I'm asking, because I want to have goals for the next 1-2 months, in which I know what I have to learn in which order =) I would really appreciate it if some experienced automated testers could help me having a great start into automated testing.

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  • It seems you are looking for a solution, but not defining the problem explicitly. It would better to clarify what is your context (project, people, scope); what risks are you try to assess with your testing (and then you can look for tools for enhancing your testing capabilities); who are the clients of your testing (developers, product owners, external regulators?). – João Farias May 20 at 15:00
  • @JoãoFarias Farias Thank you for the comment. Our project, is a CRM based website, which is being used by our customer support. The website itself has a login part, it does communicate with different databases, it displays customer details and stuff. Sounds quiet simple yet, but the app is still in the beginning of development. I just wanted to grab some infos from expirienced testers, which could help me so i can set study goals until the app is ready to be tested. – Sigi Sixx May 20 at 15:57
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You're asking a lot fo concrete questions to which there're no universal answers. I'm afraid your question will be closed because of lack of focus.

I'll try to give you some pointers.

What should I first focus on as a beginner with no knowledge in automated testing? Should I first learn C#? Or start directly learn Selenium (or other testing tools?)

Focus on learning where automation can bring value and what information you can gather using it (ask around in your company). There's nothing worse than people who come to this area and start automating everything with no clear goal in mind.

Learn what the layers of the application are and what could you test and check on each one.

Since you mentioned UI, it seems to me that your focus will be on UI only. Learn to limit yourself on this level since checks tend to run long and are closely tight to UI changes, which more often than not means they also break often.

How much experience do I need in C#, to fully use Selenium? Is it enough when I know the basics in C#? Or do I need advanced/expert knowledge in C# for selenium?

You are a Tester, go and test yourself. Give yourself a task to automate something using these technologies. How easy was it? If you feel it was hard, you should probably study more.

Today, I had my first talk with a tester from a other team and he mentioned “Tosca”. I googled the difference between Tosca and Selenium. And both are being used very differently. Maybe someone here used both and could give me his opinion on both testing tools? Are both covering the same test cases?

C#, Tosca, Selenium, ... you mention a lot of technologies but no reasons why these were suggested. Focus on why. Choosing appropriate tools in your context can save you a lot of time later on. Why don't you ask that Tester to tell you why he chose Tosca, or C#, or any other tool? Don't be satisfied with answers such as "that's the way this company runs."

Are there any other tools needed for automated testing beside of Selenium or Tosca, which I should look at?

There're probably tens of other tools you'll (have to) learn. But you won't need all of them every single time. The problem here again is your context. You might use tool A now, but you might find tool B more appropriate on a future project.

All in all, I don't think that focusing too much on particular tools is especially beneficial. In my opinion, tools could be learnt fast, but it usually takes some time to develop the right attitude towards automation as well as the underlying technologies systems are built on.

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  • First, thank you very much for that detailed answer. Yeah i was trying to get as many informations as i could with that question. Im the only tester in my team and in the first week i was told "Find out which testing tool is the best, find out what fits best for you, what you want to work with.. do some researches". The app is still very in the beginning of development. Yet there is maybe the login interface and some tables filled with data. – Sigi Sixx May 20 at 15:45
  • Sure, there are other teams with one tester each. But they work differently. The one i talked today, is testing manually. There are also testers who use according to him tosca, or some even selenium, but currently hard for them to find time. Thats why i hoped to get some tips/suggestions here, as its the only real website which has active users. – Sigi Sixx May 20 at 15:48
  • Good answer, especially around "focus on why" and learn about context. I'd also recommend to @SigiSixx to read up on the Agile Test Pyramid – Lee Jensen May 20 at 16:03
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A. What should I first focus on as a beginner with no knowledge in automated testing? Should I first learn C#? Or start directly learn Selenium (or other testing tools?)

I currently use Selenium/Appium for testing UI on Android platform. I would suggest learning automation tools first, then C# as time permits. Our app is also built in C#, but I never really found the need to learn C# since I am just communicating with the top level UI, just like a user would. So basically put yourself in the shoes of a user, and think of scenarios of what a user might do (positive and negative scenarios like out of range values in textboxes, etc). we do a lot of data driven testing as well, so this is one area you might want to look into. Also learn the page Object model, since that is a good design pattern to use for building the automation. I would suggest getting some udemy courses for this.

B. How much experience do I need in C#, to fully use Selenium? Is it enough when I know the basics in C#? Or do I need advanced/expert knowledge in C# for selenium?

As mentioned before, our app is in C# as well, but I never felt the need to learn it. Depends on your usecase.

C. Today, I had my first talk with a tester from a other team and he mentioned “Tosca”. I googled the difference between Tosca and Selenium. And both are being used very differently. Maybe someone here used both and could give me his opinion on both testing tools? Are both covering the same test cases?

Never heard of Tosca. Selenium + appium serves our needs well.

D. Are there any other tools needed for automated testing beside of Selenium or Tosca, which I should look at?

junit or TestNG which is next level to Junit, SQL if you have database testing, Apache POI for data-driven testing, Appium if you do android testing, page object model design pattern

Hope that helps. Good luck. Its a massive undertaking.

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  • If you don't know C# but write Appium tests, which language bindings are you using then? You'll need to learn at least one language. – FDM May 25 at 5:35

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