As engineering organizations continue to accelerate release velocity, the amount of automated testing needed to support faster development cycles is only going to grow. And as automation continues to proliferate throughout the software development pipeline, it is becoming clear that experience in writing automated tests is crucial for organizations to succeed. This means developers are going to need to learn how to write automated tests, and QA professionals who were once manual-only now need to supplement their skillset with automation engineer knowledge.
Test automation is still a fairly new skill in the development industry, and there are a number of training courses that purport to transform once manual-only testers to automated QA and testing experts. However, there are a number of things to consider when selecting a test automation training program:
Automation Testing is a Development Activity - Courses that try to cut corners and offer the “easy way out” miss the point about the emerging practice of automated testing. For long term testing success, it’s important to understand the basics of software development, and training courses should do the same.
Avoid Proprietary Tools - With the wide variety of open source tools in the market today, teams that are locked in with proprietary solutions find themselves limited in the long term. Whether it’s changing projects within an organization, or the inevitable change from one company to another, it’s important to choose a training program that will apply broadly to your team, and won’t limit their growth.
Set Yourself Up to Scale - There are a number of training courses and tools that promise “quick setup” or “5 easy steps.” While there are quick ways to get started quickly with test automation, it’s important to set yourself for long term success and avoid problems associated with flakes, interdependencies, and more. Automated testing training should instruct on best practices, not quick fixes.
Testing is Part of Your Larger Strategy - Foundational knowledge of test automation practices is crucial when considering a training program, but remember that in the age of DevOps and Agile, nothing exists in a vacuum. The same can be said for testing. So as you’re considering training methods, consider your larger pipeline strategy, and how automation would fit into that workflow. That way, as you start to level up your testing knowledge it will be easier to integrate those practices into any existing development framework.
Start Small - Learning any new skill takes time and effort, and test automation is not immune to this. So find training methods that will give you quick wins to keep motivation high. How can you easily automate repetitive and time-consuming workflows? What tests can you write that could be easily replicated and applied across multiple touchpoints in your application? This not only keeps you engaged in learning, but also shows value to management who would ultimately fund any broader training initiatives.
Sauce Labs has helped a number of organizations successfully make the move to automation. With a wealth of in-house experience, we have developed free online training modules, full-service onsite training programs, and more. Learn about our full menu of Continuous Testing Services by visiting the Sauce Labs website, or by chatting with one of our Solutions Specialists.