What it’s like being a QA Automation Engineer

binaya dhungana qa engineer
Binaya Dhungana
QA Engineer

There are many career paths to take in software development. Quality Assurance (QA) is a popular choice for developers looking to specialize in quality and reliability. It’s also common for those who still want to be involved in coding new features to take on a hybrid role – doing a combination of both. QA automation engineering is a chance to both code and test, as Proshore’s Binaya Dhungana and Madhusudan Pandey explain.

What is a QA Automation Engineer?

A QA Automation Engineer – also known as a Test Automation Engineer – designs, develops and implements automated tests and frameworks to ensure the quality and reliability of software.

QA Automation Engineers create automated test scripts and frameworks that can verify software functionality, and detect defects or bugs. They use specialized tools and programming languages to automate the testing process, reducing the time and effort required for repetitive manual testing tasks.

Manual testing is still part of the process. When manual testing is completed and documented, QA automation engineers begin creating automated testing scripts. These scripts simulate user interactions to check features run as intended. 

If scripts are implemented on a continuous integration / continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline (or Github Action) then when there’s a failure, the script will halt further deployment until the error is fixed. 

With an Agile approach to software development – and CI/CD – the need for automated testing has grown. For that reason, QA Automation Engineers play a crucial role in software development and find themselves in high demand.

Skills needed for QA automation engineering

QA automation engineers need a combination of technical and soft skills. These include:

  • Technical skills: QA automation engineers need to write code and scripts using common programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, and Python. That’s because they develop and maintain automation frameworks and integrate automation into the software development process.
  • Analytical skills: They analyze bug reports, identify critical test scenarios, and prioritize testing efforts. Their role also involves examining software functions to determine which areas require automated testing. Through analytical thinking, QA automation engineers optimize automated testing processes and identify potential areas for improvement.
  • Attention to detail: QA automation engineers examine web and mobile applications, identifying potential issues, isolating problems, and suggesting ways to enhance a piece of software. For that reason, their work requires close attention to detail. This enables the creation of robust test cases, thoroughly validated software, and accurate automation results.
  • Communication skills: Engineers in this field need to collaborate closely with the wider team, stakeholders, and other QA members to gather requirements, discuss testing plans, and report errors. Clear communication helps to convey test results by explaining defects and working collaboratively to address issues.
  • Problem-solving skills: QA automation engineers need to investigate and debug issues that arise during the automation process, identify the root causes of failures, and propose effective solutions. Problem-solving skills enable them to troubleshoot technical challenges, resolve scripting errors, and optimize the automation framework for better performance.

How to approach QA automation 

Complex software functions – or more complex development scenarios – are best served by manual testing. But other, more straightforward aspects of testing can quickly become repetitive. Automation is helpful when manually testing core functions becomes overly time-consuming and highly repetitive. 

QA Automation Engineers are an integral part of the development process as part of continuous integration, and continuous delivery (CI/CD). Typically, testing scripts are run at the beginning and end of each day, alongside manual testing. 

Any new features created during a development sprint are first tested manually. If automating testing is appropriate and possible, a testing script can be created for future cycles. Any errors or bugs that are identified as a result of QA testing – whether manual or automated – need to be resolved. These are prioritized and anything that significantly impacts the product or ongoing development will be fixed.    

At Proshore, we’re always on the lookout for highly-skilled tech talent, including QA Automation Engineers. View our current job openings.

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