Myth about Skill Required for Automation Testing

My recent observations of SQA Skills trends in Pakistan in particular and overall in general, a tendency to ask people being hired for SQA positions if they have experience, skills or knowledge of automation testing. And the answer the hiring body is mostly looking for is if they have working experience of QTP, Selenium or RFT. If the resource says he is willing to learn QTP or Selenium or RFT or whatever, people start teaching them these tools.

I have started to get frustrated by this behavior, but I also have been part of this culture too, so one can say I am frustrated with myself too.

Let me quote you one story, one person who was well-versed in Software Quality Management in early 2000(s); advertised following skills for QA resources, job advertised with title Software Developer and Quality Analyst

  • ISO
  • Development (language not important)
  • Automata
  • Data Communication and Networks
  • Regular Expressions
  • Critical Eye

After experience of hiring, getting hired, working and managing teams, I have to come to know that above ad was the best possible ad for what we mostly look from our resource.

But are we looking at right skill set, or even we know what we want, I think about 90% people don’t know the answer, and the ones that know hide behind ‘budget limitation’ wall.

I believe we should look at software automation testing as we look at software development; we need at least two type of personal, one Software Automation Script Developer and one Software Automation Engineer.

Software Automation Engineer: Should be the person, who has application domain knowledge, has written the Test Cases for the application, and understands which area of application needs regression. He also understands and can write suede code, which a developer can understand and convert to physical code. He is also going to prepare the data for the data driven automation testing.

Software Automation Script Developer: Should be the person who gets the test case in document form, and just creates the script as defined. He has the understanding of the scripting language.

I will try to explain in detail what these roles should comprehend in grand scheme of Software Quality Assurance in the long run.

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