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Things to Consider before Switching Career to become a Selenium Automation Tester

Selenium is an open-source automation tool that has gained popularity over the last couple of years. As the demand for automation testers has increased, so has the demand for Selenium automation testers increased as well. The world is massively moving away from manual testing to automation testing and Selenium is at the centre of the skill required to fill these roles. But before you consider pivoting into automation testing with Selenium, there are some things you must take into cognisance. 

Things about what makes Selenium special, what a Selenium automation tester really does, skills required of an automation tester and yea, the salary expectation for Selenium automation testing jobs. These articles will bring answers to these questions. By the end of the article, you will have a robust knowledge of what Selenium is about and whether it is a perfect career for you. 

So without further ado, let’s blast off. 

What is Selenium?

At that time, manual testing was the popular method of testing. Testers would have to manually write test scripts for different use cases. This has some drawbacks as testers can be prone to mistakes, not all use cases may be accounted for and the process of testing is relatively slow. 

Selenium comes to solve this. The tool is divided into four key software:

As said earlier, Selenium is an open-source automation testing tool. It is important to note here that Selenium is web-based. In other words, Selenium cannot be used to test mobile apps but web applications. Selenium was created in 2004 by Jason Huggins to improve the productivity of software testers. 

  • Selenium WebDriver
  • Selenium Remote Control (RC)
  • Selenium IDE
  • Selenium Grid 

To understand the difference between these packages, click here to read an article that explains it. 

Now, let’s jump into things you should know before becoming a Selenium automation tester. 

  1. You require soft skills

As an automation tester, you’d be working with a team of developers which will require you to have a lot of soft skills. Some of the soft skills required are:

  • Communication skills: You would typically be writing test reports, test cases and test strategies. Writing these documents effectively will need you to be good at written communication. You’d also have to get in discussion with developers about the bugs you found and how they can solve it. 

Again, since you will be finding fault with other people’s work, you must approach them with caution and diplomacy. You do not want to come off as rude or proud, yet, you must discharge your duties with conscientiousness. 

  • Analytical skill: When writing a test case, you will need to break down a large problem into small tasks. This involves good analytical skills. You will need to discover the possible causes of problems and back off your claims with proof; test results. 
  • Organization skills: A good organization skill is required of a tester. You will typically be working on different projects at the same time. And each project would involve various test cases. To effectively function, you must have great organization and time management skills. You should be able to manage a daunting workload and maintain high productivity. 
  1. You’d be requiring technical skills. 

Of course, soft skills would not be all you’d be needing to function as an automation tester. You’d be needing a decent knowledge of technical skills. Some of these skills include:

  • Working knowledge of automation tools: Amongst others, you should have a strong knowledge of experience with hands-on experience. You can learn Selenium by joining a Selenium online training. Beyond that, you should also be able to use other testing tools such as JMeter, UFT/QTP, etc. 

To be able to use Selenium, you will typically need to learn a programming skill. Selenium is popularly used with Java and Python. So it’s good you have some fundamental knowledge in one of those two languages. 

  • Basic SQL: SQL is one of the most popular tools for database management. Softwares and applications always require data to function in the backend. So if you want to have a rounded test, you will need to run queries that verify the data is properly stored and retrieved in the backend. 
  • Experience with a defect tracking tool: As an automation tester, you will be tracking defects and defect life cycles at intervals. To manage defects, it is advisable to use a defect tracking tool such as Bugzilla or Jira.
  1. Education background

Most industries like to ask for a degree in Computer Science. This is however not necessary if you have the required skill for the job. The world has moved away from certifications to hands-on skills. So if you do not have a certificate in Computer Science, there is no problem. You can however enroll in a Selenium certification training that gets you the skill and also the certification to prove you understand the skill. This is an easier alternative if you do not have a degree in Computer Science. 

  1. Career path

Selenium has a good path for growth. Although your progress will depend on a couple of factors such as your performance, the company you work for, etc, it could take about 13 years to move up the rank to a Senior Test Manager. You may start as a Junior QA analyst and work in that role for 2 to 3 years. Afterwards, you can work as a Senior QA analyst for another 3 years. Then you can work as a QA team coordinator for say 3 years after which you are qualified to work as a Test Manager. Working as a Test Manager for 4 years, you are then qualified for the Senior Test manager role which is like the peak of your career. 

  1. Expected Salary

According to Talent, a Selenium automation Tester makes an average of $97,500 per annum in the US. Entry-level positions make $80,950 while more experienced personnel make as much as $121,388 per annum. 

Wrapping up

In this article, you have discovered some key things you need to know before choosing Selenium as a career path. Hopefully, by now you have seen automation testing is a luxury career path with a lot of possibilities. But the onus is on you to make a decision.

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