Interested in a QA Automation Career? Here Are the Skills You Need
Software developers cannot afford to put a product on the market until it passes rigorous testing. The process is a task humans can perform, but QA automation makes it easier and more advanced.
Quality assurance automation uses independent tools to test a software product. It takes some of the load from human testers by automating tasks. QA automation also improves testing by performing advanced functions people cannot accomplish by hand.
Why Are QA Automation Skills Critical?
Companies pursuing automation are on the rise. Two-thirds of companies responding to a McKinsey survey indicate they are working on automating at least one business process. As more businesses use automation, demand for people with the necessary skills will increase.
An Overview of QA Automation
A career as a QA automation engineer can be fun and satisfying. Now that software integrates into everyday life, your role in helping people use high-quality, error-free tools is vital and appreciated. In other words, you:
- Find glitches before the user does
- Ensure their software runs smoothly
- Improve their experience
As a QA automation engineer, you ensure that software complies with the developers’ regulations and requirements. It is your responsibility to inform the developer of any defects.
QA Automation Engineer Salary and Job Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that software and quality assurance jobs should grow 22% over the next decade — a much higher rate than the average for all jobs.
In 2020, the median annual salary for jobs in this sector was $110,140.
The Top 3 Tech Skills You Need To Be a QA Automation Engineer
QA automation jobs require many technical skills. Here is a closer look at the top three.
1. Understand the Software You’re Testing
A QA automation engineer needs to know the product inside and out, including:
Just as a mechanic knows what parts comprise a car’s engine, how they fit together, and how they make the engine run, you need to see the application’s structure and the details of its elements.
If you find a bug in one system, it may also affect other systems. That’s why knowing how data gets to the front end is essential.
To understand how the data travels, you need to know the logic of the connection between the back end, the API and the front end:
- The back end is where the database stores the application’s information.
- The Application Programming Interface, or API, allows two software components to connect.
- The front end is the software part that human or digital users interact with.
Once you have a handle on these connections, you can run tests to find out how a bug affects (or does not affect) other application systems.
2. Know the Programming Languages
Time is of the essence for developers and testers. Spending hours or weeks on manual testing can put them over budget and behind the competition. Therefore, they need automation tools to make testing faster.
Selenium is an open-source set of tools that automates web applications for testing. It provides a single interface that validates applications across various browsers and platforms. In other words, it is a time-saver for developers and testers.
Selenium Library is a web testing library that works in conjunction with programming languages. People who work in QA automation Selenium jobs need to know the languages to use the Selenium Library of methods.
Selenium supports several programming languages, including:
A QA automation engineer needs some basic coding skills. They’re necessary for creating and implementing automated solutions.
If you’ve ever researched coding tutorials, you know there are an abundance of online sources from which you can study. There’s no limit to what you can learn as you increase your QA automation skills.
When starting, it’s a good idea to learn the basics from a teacher. You can acquire the skills needed for entry-level QA automation jobs at Technosoft Academy. It is a tech school in New York City, teaching globally through online instruction.
One of the best ways to learn to code is by working on it a little every day. It helps you develop your brain and muscle memory. In addition, coding can be fun — it’s a creative pursuit that lets you bring concepts to life. It can even feel like playing a game when you see your ideas develop — and when you find errors and successfully fix them.
3. Know the Tools
Just as a mechanic knows how to use the tools that fix an engine, QA automation engineers need to master automated testing tools.
Integrated Development Environment Software
An IDE lets programmers converge the various elements of program writing. It puts common writing activities into one application so that programmers can combine:
- Editing source code: Autocompleting your code and highlighting syntax
- Building executables: Compiling and executing code
- Debugging: Helping programmers avoid errors
Common IDEs include Eclipse, Visual Studio Code, and IntelliJ.
Testing the application programming interface is a vital part of software testing. The practice tests the API’s functionality, performance, reliability and security. Some standard API testing tools include Postman and JMeter.
Structured Query Language communicates with a software’s database. A QA automation engineer needs to know enough about SQL queries to create commands that request information from the database. Then the engineer can compare and validate that data through the entire pipeline: database, API and front-end user interface.
Soft Skills You Need as a QA Automation Engineer
Naturally, QA automation engineers require technical skills. However, they should also keep some soft skills handy in their tool belt.
Attention to the Details
QA automation involves a lot of checking and rechecking. A skilled engineer is meticulous, concentrates on the particulars, and studies areas susceptible to problems.
Diligence goes along with attention to detail. It requires patience to stick with a project until you find the glitches.
Tech constantly changes, and working in the industry requires keeping up with the latest practices.
QA automation engineers collaborate with developers, end users, stakeholders and other engineers. It involves teamwork at almost every step.
QA Automation Teams
Agile teams consist of cross-functional groups of people, usually between five and 10, dedicated to testing a working increment of a product. If you aspire to be a team leader, some tips to help you rise to the top include:
- Keeping a positive attitude toward excellence
- Sharing information instead of emphasizing processes
- Talking about successes but also discussing failures, how they affect the project and what the team can do to overcome them
- Exchanging information with team members instead of being a gatekeeper
Starting Your QA Automation Career
If you are excited about a career in QA automation, Technosoft Academy has the training you need to get started. Book a call or email us today to learn about our admission process.