My first step towards test automation, what will yours be?

By Farvin Gonsalves | Test Automation

Mar 28

Are you a functional tester that wants to move to test automation? “I’ve been doing functional testing for years now and I want to move in to test automation.” Have you heard that somewhere? Is it you who keeps saying it to yourself or to your fellow workers? That’s great! but where do I start? And what should I do?

Once upon a time...

Let me start by telling you my story. I’m Farvin and I am a functional test analyst who is moving into test automation. I’ve been a functional tester for more than a year now. I started out as a graduate tester and was trained in functional testing. I didn’t think I would stick with it though as I wanted to be a Java developer to use my degree in computer applications.

Even though I was a functional tester I wanted to be more technical. I was happy to find out that Planit Software Testing, the place where I work had a non-functional stream as well. I was excited and began researching on how do I move from functional to test automation.

I began learning Selenium WebDriver using Java during the time in the office while I was waiting to go on a client site. This lasted a week and I got bored. I couldn’t see how this would help me. I lacked motivation and discipline. I tried again but with no different result, I couldn’t focus or I would get easily distracted.

Something changes

When I got my first project and I was super busy. As a graduate tester, my first project was a big deal to me. I had to make a good impression to my test manager and the project team. Learning Selenium took a back seat. I was happy on my project, finding defects and running tests and my test manager was happy with me.

Soon I found myself working on a new project. This one was more demanding and more engaging. I learnt many new things, participated actively in sprint ceremonies, engaging with the business users and I felt great. It was a maintenance project and I was working with the developers and operations team closely.

Being around technical people, I realised what I was missing out on. That desire to become a technical tester which seemed faint started to become more alive. I decided to do something about it.

Taking my first step

It was time for my Performance Appraisal, which went great by the way. I decided to let my reviewer know that I wanted to move to test automation. He told me there was a process and got me started on that.

According to the process, I had to raise an interest at the PA, take a technical assessment test, self study and train in test automation and answer a technical interview. I prepared for the test and took it. Guess what? I passed the test.

The next step is self study and training. This is where I am currently. This is also the reason I’m starting this blog. The best way to learn something is to teach it to others. I have decided to relearn Java, followed by learning Selenium, Cucumber, Jenkins and SVN/Git. I want to use this blog to share what I’m learning. I also want to help testers by sharing my experience of moving from functional testing to test automation.

Lessons learned

I procrastinated and wishfully thought about getting into test automation but unless you take any action in this direction nothing will happen. So I’d like to ask you to take action. Reading a blog or watching a video about automation may give you a “feel good” feeling but unless you are actively learning about automation, you won’t be making any progress.

Taking that first step is always very difficult. I was learning about automation when I had some down time but it was aimless learning. I didn’t have a goal in mind, wasn’t really motivated and was learning for the sake of learning, sometimes just to pass my time. But what’s the difference now?

Now I have a burning desire, a plan to make this desire into reality, now I know I am moving into test automation. Having a desire is really important to start anything, that’s what keeps you going.

It's your turn now

It's time to take action. Now that you have read this blog post, would you be kind enough to leave a comment with the action you’re going to take. I’d also like to know how I can improve my blogging skills, so please feel free to point out any mistakes I did or anything I can improve on. Go ahead and post a comment.


About the Author

Hi, I’m Farvin Gonsalves. I’m a test analyst at Planit Software Testing, UK. I’ve been a tester for more than a year now and I want to continue learning and share my experiences with you.

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(7) comments

Noel March 31, 2017

Good work Farvin. Interesting read …
next blog you will have to wear a red jumper 🙂

keep up the good work.

Grace March 30, 2017


Loved your first post, would be happy to read more of your journey and the YELLOW theme that you have! It sure is a happy color!

Rachel March 30, 2017

Love the yellow jumper picture and good first article!

Anonymoose March 30, 2017

Good first post, hope to see more from you in the future!

Krishna March 30, 2017

Hi Farvin, Congratulations on starting a blog that helps testers like us. Use some emoji’s they are YELLOW.. :o)

TheGreyJumper March 30, 2017

Hello Farvin,

What you recommend for those functional testers who are not fortunate enough to be employed somewhere with a defined process for switching to technical testing?

    Farvin Gonsalves March 31, 2017

    That is an excellent question TheGreyJumper, in such cases I would recommend that you learn about test automation on your own. Your goal should be to demonstrate that you possess the skills to be a test automation engineer. One way to do this is to automate the test cases which you are expected to run manually.It won’t be easy at first and you will make mistakes but you will be learning from those mistakes. Once you’re able to write a test suite of automated passing test cases, you can make a case for your promotion to be an automation tester. Since you learnt about test automation by yourself, you can prove that you can take initiative, deliver value and now have experience in automating test cases.

    In my next blog post I will be talking about a few things you need to learn to make the switch to test automation.

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