Automation Day 1 : Struggle with yourself

Imagine the day you recieve a mail in your corporate inbox, stating

“Drive for improving QA Automation Skills.” or  “QA Automation Training to commence, mandatory for every QA”. Not claiming to read the mindset, but two thoughts are quite obvious.

First, some people will come up with  ‘WOW’ expressions, and will look forward to put their efforts to learn new things.

On the contrary, for others, the day might not prove to be good :(, because of certain reasons.

The challenge for corporate trainer is to address both groups. The first group is already motivated, and just needs a push. Second group can’t be blamed for resistance they show, but before forcing them to attend, one should understand and discuss their views. What is the blocker ?  What argument is stopping them to learn ? Is there any misconception ? Is technology itself an impediment? With experience, I can classify the mindset broadly into three categories:

  • Few people in the group, may give some of the reactions- “I CAN’T Do it”, Or “It is not my cup of tea”, Or “I do not like to code”, Or “I do not know how to Code” and many more.

As QA, we need to understand that coding is only one aspect of the Automation, and every individual has potential to contribute in Automation process. The only thing is to identify and challenge your own ability.

  • Other group prefers to have themselves with their existing skill set i.e manual only. The generic question from them, ‘Why Me ?‘. “Automation is not my task and why can’t you hire an exclusive automation team?”

Question is very simple, so as the answer. In the era where pressure of delivery with efficiency is a challenge, Manager has to take the call on automation, and yes Darwinian Theory applies here. So its up to you to accept it or leave yourself in vacuum.

  • And the ultimate group, “I want to learn, but can’t without you

I love this majority, and that’s why we are reading this article too. Yes, I want to learn, but I do not know from where to start. What are the different aspects of automation ? How can I utilize my current skill set in automation process ? What else I need to learn ?

Lets take our first step, to understand the automation and how one can contribute. You tell me what is your end point and from there I can take our team to finish the race. May be I can stop at one point of time and a member of the team will take us from there.

Step 1 : Judge Yourself

Take a short break, and suggest me few steps, how would you test happy path for following scenario:

“As a registered shopper of an eCommerce site, I want to place an order for item <ABC> using payment method COD.”

Thought process might be different, and one of the possible flows might be

  1. Login as shopper
  2. Look for item <ABC>
  3. Order for item <ABC>
  4. Checkout the order with payment COD
  5. Confirm the order

NICE !!!!

hmm, is it possible for you to record every steps on a notepad, while doing the same on actual site manually ( NO AUTOMATION)

  1. Launch the eCommerce Application using specific browser.
  2. On the Home Page of the application, look for the area from where you can log in to application.
  3. Go and Try to access the login area.
  4. Provide login credentials.
  5. Press Submit, and make sure you are logged in as registered shopper.
  6. Look for the application area, from where you can search item <ABC>
  7. Provide keyword <ABC> in the search box, and take search action.
  8. Verify if the application returned the same product which you were looking for.
  9. Identify if you can add this item to your card
  10. Select Qty and press Add to Cart Button
  11. Go to Cart, and verify if the correct item with correct qty and price added
  12. Look for the checkout button, and click it
  13. On Checkout Page, verify the item added / item total / tax etc.
  14. Look for the area, where you can do payments.
  15. Identify the payment method “COD”
  16. Select the payment method “COD”
  17. Identify the “Confirm Order” area on the application.
  18. Confirm the order by pressing appropriate Order Confirmation button.
  19. Verify if Application accepted the order and generating any message.
  20. Take a Long breath 🙂

Are you able to relate all these steps ? Can you re-write the flow in that much or more details ? Do you believe that your Computer System is nothing but an “Idiot Box”, and you are the boss to guide it for every steps.

If so, then you can’t be an automation tester, BUT you have the potential of an AUTOMATION TEST MANAGER. You don’t quite believe me right, do you? So tell me what a manager does. He does nothing but show you your path. Make sure that you deliver best with available resource. That is why, I am addressing you as AUTOMATION MANAGER. You are capable of writing good sets of steps, so that your subordinate can follow these and results as per your expectations. You know almost 75% there. You know what you want, you know how to achieve the objective, you know what are the exact steps you need to pass for an idiot, and you know how to get the work done.

WOW, lets see how an “Idiot Box” can challenge us, and what best we do to tackle this.


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