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I work with Selenium Automation, API testing tools etc but if I want to switch to a DevOps engineer role, then how challenging will it be for a QA to learn all tools?

Also, Where does UI automation fit in the DevOps lifecycle?

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  • This question might be considered off topic or one with opinion only answers. The short answer is, yes. But, why do you want to change roles?
    – Lee Jensen
    Oct 14 at 19:24
  • As DevOps is very popular in organizations and I see many automation people learning more about pipelines, containerisation. It seems like just knowing Selenium has no future and I can lose my job
    – tony67
    Oct 14 at 19:34
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Yes, QA Automation Engineers, like any QA role, can move to other roles in the SDLC: developer, DevOps, etc.

QA Automation is also more than "just using Selenium". Selenium 4 just came out this week, so there is always a future need for UI automation. Now, you might get bored doing this day-in and day-out. Consider learning automation skills around other areas of the Agile Test Pyramid.

As QA or Test Engineer:

  • Can you setup Linting on your team?
  • Can you write unit tests along side the developers? Code review their unit tests?
  • Can you automate API tests in Postman or via custom code frameworks?
  • Can you automate Database testing? Setup unit tests on stored procedures? Other forms of integration testing?
  • Can you setup and use SAST tools?
  • Can you automate any performance tests?
  • Can you automate any accessibility tests?
  • Can you expand your automation skills from web to mobile automation or vice-versa?
  • Are you able to setup any of these from scratch yourself? Or do you rely on others (developers, devops, other testers like a QA Lead, QA architect) to have set these up previously?

These are just a few questions/considerations to how a QA Engineer can participate in automation tasks for a team. This isn't an exhaustive list and I'm sure there's more to include.

As DevOps, you'd likely being doing:

  • Setting up and maintaining containers, VMs, etc
  • Setting up and maintaining pipelines
  • Being on-call when major production issues occur
  • Performance testing production systems
  • Security testing production systems
  • Being a SRE - Site Reliability Engineer
  • Performing production releases, rollbacks, etc
  • Learning AWS products and/or Azure products. Consider the certifications for each of these solutions (certs aren't necessary, but nice to have)

There's definitely more to add to this list.

While there can be some overlap, to me, the biggest differences between a QA role and a DevOps role is QA is about finding issues before they go to production (shift-left) and DevOps is about production systems (shift-right).

Where does UI automation fit in the DevOps lifecycle?

DevOps would likely just add this task to the pipeline. They'd be less hands-on in creating/updating/maintaining UI automation.

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