Manual testing is not what it was five years ago.
The number of pure manual testing jobs is low and when such a job is available, the competition is fierce. It is common these days to meet manual testers that have a difficult time finding a new job.
Due to budget restrictions for the testing team, there are also cases where manual testers are let go, but test automation engineers retained.
Which doesn’t make sense since developers are not great testers.
On the other hand, it is easier for developers to learn testing than it is for testers to learn development.
Considering the market situation, many manual testers are now becoming more interested in test automation.
Some want to just expand their skills by including programming and a test automation framework in their testing toolbox. Others are contemplating switching the direction completely and focusing on automation only.
But how can you find that next automation job when you do not know programming?
Change your attitude first
I know many testers dream about a company that will:
- discover them
- see their amazing potential
- accept their lack of automation skills
- hire them as automation engineers (even if they are not qualified)
- give them time to learn programming and test automation
Such testers are so confident in themselves they believe that once they have the job, they will learn the test automation skills and programming quickly.
Needless to say that this rarely happens.
Putting the cart before the horse does not get the cart moving.
Companies today prefer to hire automation testers who already trained and, if possible, have prior project experience.
Other testers, more adapted to the real market conditions, look for automation opportunities by applying to jobs advertised by companies.
And some work with recruiters.
Working with an IT recruiter is a fast way to get a new job, due to the wide range of companies that the recruiter has access to. Also, recruiters are directly interested in placing the tester, since they gets a commission for each hired tester.
There is no easy solution.
So where can we find inspiration for solving this problem?
In the movies. Where else?
One of my favorite sports movies is Jerry Maguire.
The movie is quite popular, so chances are, you have watched it already.
He writes an inspired memo during the night, prints it, and drops copies in the mailbox of all his colleagues, including the boss.
The business does not change a bit as a result of his memo, but he gets fired.
All the athletes he managed before leave him with one exception: Rod, an American football player, played by Cuba Gooding Jr.
He tries to find Rod a better paid job. He tries and tries without many good results.
It isn’t until Rod starts to change his attitude on playing football, and starts helping Jerry to find him a better job, that they can find the best position available.
“Help me to help you, Rod!” Jerry scream in one of the scenes.
So what is the lesson here for manual testers who want to go into test automation?
If you want to change your career from manual testing to test automation, and you don’t know much about programming: CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE.
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Become visible, different, and interesting professionally
Create a blog about learning test automation and programming. The blog will be your proof, and will showcase your improving automation skills.
It is also an asset that sets you apart from other manual testers taking the same route.
Another trick is to update your LinkedIn profile with your new programming and automation skills.
Write frequently on the blog about new things that you learn and publish the article links on LinkedIn. You can even publish some articles from your blog directly on LinkedIn’s Pulse platform from time to time.
Do not wait for others to discover you.
If you want to change your career and move from manual testing to test automation, do not wait to be discovered.
By changing your attitude, improving your skills and experience, reaching out and tapping your hiring networks, and working to differentiate yourself by being professionally interesting, a career in test automation is easily within your grasp.
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