Question about QA automation that I receive every day

Learn manual QA first, then move to QA automation.

Learn manual QA first, then move to QA automation. NOT another way around.

Question: Do I need to learn QA automation to get my first QA job?

Let’s think like a hiring manager and compare requirements for manual QA and QA automator.

Manual QA should:

  1. Know how to test software
  2. Know how to file bugs
  3. Be familiar with software development process
  4. Ideally have a good domain knowledge, e.g., how credit cards are processed or how video conversion works

QA automator should:

  1. Have all skills of Manual QA
  2. Have strong programming experience (for example, with Java)
  3. Have strong experience with particular QA automation framework (for example, with Selenium WebDriver)

If I’m hiring Jr. QA for manual black box testing, I care about two things:

  1. Personality
  2. Practical understanding of QA methodology and software development process

QA experience and domain knowledge are always a plus, but if it’s a good person to work with and he understand QA, then in my book it’s enough to be hired.

It’s completely different situation in case of hiring QA automation engineer.

I’ve been doing QA automation for more than 10 years and I know exactly that:

It takes years of programming and QA automation experience before person can not only write clean usable code, but also know WHAT to automate and WHAT NOT to automate.

In most cases, unexperienced QA automator will cause a MESS simply because proper programming and proper QA automation takes MANY years to master.

That’s why I ONLY hire QA automators if they have years of relevant experience.

“But what if I want to do QA automation?” The answer is here.