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Switch from Manual to Automation Testing

April 30, 2017
Manual to automation, automation testing, manual test, automation testing tools, Manual testing

Testing is an integral part of Software Development Life Cycle. The manual testing team tests the applications in various ways to ensure that every component of the application adheres to the specifications. During this process, any existing glitches in the system are also identified and tracked until it is fixed by the development team. But manual testing every feature, over and over again on different devices and environment can be a tedious task. It also requires a lot of manual efforts and takes up a huge chunk of productive time. Hence the need for automation testing is quite evident.

Recently in the past few years, the IT industry’s need of manual testers have declined while the need for automation testers has risen at an equal pace. For this reason, as more and more projects are adopting automation testing as part of the QA process, the best bet is to go with the flow and start learning one or the other automation tool.

Best ways to Learn Automation Testing (switching from Manual Testing)

Most software testing professionals consider manual testing to be a stepping stone. After acting in manual testing you can get well acquainted with the various QA processes practiced in a team and how a sprint and various testing activities should be planned. With this basic knowledge in a tester’s arsenal, he/ she can start exploring new manual testing techniques and opt for an automation tool that they want to learn. So the best approach for learning automation testing is:

Going through Automation Basics

First, you should learn about the various automation tools available in the market and which one would suit your personal and project needs.

  • Once you have done that you can start with the basics of the tool and various advantages and features provided by it. At this preliminary stage, going through online tutorials and posts are the best approach.
  • You can cover all such basics within a few days or a week.

Setting up Automation workspace

Automation testing requires coding skills. So if you have basic programming knowledge you can start with the very basics automation testing to switch from manual testing.

  • First, you need to install an IDE (Eclipse or IntelliJ) if you are working with Selenium WebDriver with Java. In the case of another automation tool, you have to setup the automation environment accordingly.
  • All these steps would also be available in various online tutorials or walkthrough videos. Once setup is done its time to create a dummy script and test your setup and also to give yourself a taste of the pace of an automation script.
  • Setting up and running a basic script, i.ee opening a browser and visiting an URL doesn’t take much effort and can be down within a few days.

Targeting basics Automation Actions

Be it any automation tool, while automation web application automation, the automation script instructs the browser regarding what action to perform when to perform and on which web-element to perform.

  • Once you figure out how an automation tool answers “what, when and where”, you can be confident about your automation skills.
  • Start off by initializing a browser and try to navigate to an URL. Take small steps and implement your learning as you go. It is extremely important to try out the newly acquired knowledge. It not only cements your leanings but also makes you notice the finer details of automation.
  • Then you can start with different ways to select web elements present on the page and the different ways of interacting with them. Practicing these basic automation functions can take around a week or a month.

Advanced Automation

Automation testing has a huge scope, so if you want to get accustomed with the full length and breadth of automation testing then you have to dive into the advanced automation functions.

  • With these advanced functions, you would be able to handle different exceptions and perform difficult actions of any different types of page element present on a web page.
  • You can create scripts to upload files, perform drag and drop actions as well as create videos and take a screenshot of the current web page. Taking up all these advanced theories along with the implementation of each and every feature can easily take up a couple of months.

Implementing Framework

Now that you are well aware of ways to automate different actions, it’s time to brush up the code-base or the script that you have already created.

  • Practically every testing team consist of a number of automation testers who work on the same code base and keep on adding new features and refactor existing scripts so that it properly aligns with the recent feature changes. So to make new script additions easy and to make code refactoring painless, you must make sure that the code was written is easy to read and maintain.
  • TestNG is one of such frameworks which organizes your test cases and provides structure to your automation suite. While by using keyword driven framework along with page object model, you can increase reusability of the code and make it easy to maintain and understand.
  • TestNG is also very useful in generating reports in a presentable format, which can be published after each test execution.

Continuous Integration

The motive of every automation test script is to relieve the QA team of any manual effort. While the automation script surely relieves the team of time-intensive manual effort, but the scripts still need to be triggered manually. For this reason, Continuous Integration (CI) comes into the picture.

  • With Continuous Integration tools like Jenkins, testing team can schedule their tests and specify the frequency of each test suites. Once the execution of these test suites complete, a test report can also be sent to concerned members of the team so that they can know the current status of the build.
  • To learn about the basics of Continuous Integration tools like Jenkins, you need to set up Jenkins and learn about its different configurations and command line interface. You can learn the basics within a week, and set-up your automation suite as well.


  • As automation testing demands programming knowledge, the transition from manual testing can be a bit challenging.
  • So to learn any automation tool at a fast pace, you must start with the very basics and also implement your learning as your move forward.
  • You should start with basic automated interactions and gradually move towards automating more advanced user actions. You can even opt for a quality automation testing e-course to help you with the right study material and the right approach for the course.
  • Once that is done, you should try to incorporate a testing framework to increase the readability and maintainability of the automation code base.
  • In the end, when the automation suite is ready, you can opt for Continuous Integration in order to schedule test automation without any human intervention.
  • Even though the duration to learn automation testing may vary from person to person, with discipline and patience for a person in manual testing can grasp most of the automation concepts within 6 months, if not less.

About the author

arindam bandyopadhyay author

Arindam Bandyopadhyay is an automation tester with over 5 years of experience in software testing. While during the day he juggles between Eclipse and spreadsheets, at night he lets his fingers do the talking as he writes about anything and everything his paradoxical mind desires.

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