Hello, I’m Shriwanthi Amarasinghe and I’m head of Quality Assurance at Creation Application, based out of our colombo technical hub.
I’ve seen hundreds of vacancies for the description of a “Software Engineer in Test” or a “Quality Assurance Engineer” which need the candidate to have worked previously at some point of time in his career on automation testing.
However, if you apply for such jobs and attend the interview something odd happens. As the interview pave the way you get to know that the job is truly on manual testing. In other words, if you want to end up working as a Manual Tester in a software company you need to actually work on automation testing and then apply for a job in manual testing.
I feel that both of them require quite different skills. Someone who’s very good at finding bugs in manual testing might not write good maintainable code and vice-versa.
What do you think? Does it make sense to have the job specification to include “The candidate must have Automation/Performance Testing experience” for a Manual Testing job? Also, if you’re interested in having a long-term career in Manual Testing then how important is it to have some experience in either Automation or Performance Testing?
Most of the time people who put out such mixed requirements are not sure what they really want. They just read a few terminologies from the Internet and think they know the world. However Automation testing can be used as a tool to enhance testing, it is in no way superior or inferior to manual testing an vice- versa.
One should decide what kind of a career they want to follow in the long run and then focus on it rather then blindly doing something they have no real interest in just to make some employer who has no clue happy. Because for sure you will not succeed in doing that, in fact you will always be criticized for it.
This is becoming a trend in many job advertisements for “Manual Testers” where it includes many tasks that are completely different from what you would expect for a manual tester to do, on a daily basis.
I have work experience in both fields so this seemed fine, until in the interview the hiring manager starts asking too complex and detail-oriented questions centered around Automation. For an example,
- The coding language used. The particulars of the coding language
- QTP – the object model of something
- Different features of QTP and it’s error handling features
- To write some automation code on a blank piece of paper
Now it is still possible that the job actually requires these skills. But I’ve seen plenty of cases where they actually don’t. I have colleagues who joined their past organizations which required all kinds of skills (“mandatory / must-have Automation skills”) but they realized after joining that the jobs didn’t actually require any of those skills for years.
On the other hand, what does “manual testing” mean? If the manual-testing job involves using SQL scripts to query the database is that still manual testing? What about if the SQL scripts were put into a system that interpreted the results and gives warnings when they didn’t meet certain rules, is that still manual testing? What about a program that injected tester-created test data into the DB, manipulated the program through an API and then the tester reviews the results in the UI?
What does the term automation testing mean to you?
If an automated tester writes their own automation checks, runs them, reviews the results and investigates any anomalies then are they just manually testing with a fancy tool, or is that still automated?
What if the automation just sets up the test data and performs a few functions, then the tester reviews the results in the front end themselves, is that automated testing?
How about using SQL scripts put into a system that interpreted the results and gave warnings when they didn’t meet certain rules, is that still automated testing?
Does it make sense to have the job specification to include;
“The candidate must have Automation/Performance Testing experience” for a Manual Testing job? Sometimes yes.
It depends what you mean by “Automation testing” and “Manual testing”.
Also, if you’re interested in having a long-term career in Manual Testing then how important is it to have some experience in either Automation or Performance Testing?
It depends what you mean by “manual testing” and it depends what the company that hires you means by “manual testing”.
Furthermore, it depends on your skills set, where you want to work (country and company), what kind of people you want to work with, if you’re interested in programming or not, how employable you want to be, what your morals and ethics are.
Here’s what I have faith in; for what it’s worth, don’t think of yourself as a manual tester or an automation tester or a performance tester. Specialize but don’t limit your self. Think of yourself as a tester with a set of abilities, skills and specialties. For an instance, a performance tester is just a tester that knows a lot about performance and performance-related tools and resources.