From Manual Testing to Automation testing: Which Skills to Develop?

From Manual Testing to Automation testing: Which Skills to Develop?

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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Oct 27, 2023 17:50 IST

The blog discusses the mandatory skills required to shift your career from manual testing to automation testing.


In this blog, we talk about how you can move from manual testing to automation testing. The content of this blog is sourced from the webinar on the topic by Shiksha Online – “From Manual Testing to Automation testing: Which Skills to Develop?”


So before we move on to skills, let’s start with the basics.

What is Manual Testing?

Manual testing is a type of software testing in which test cases are executed manually by a tester without using any automated tools.

What is Automation Testing?

Automation Testing involves the use of tools to execute test cases. The process is all about automating a manual process. Automation Testing is used to re-run the test scenarios which were earlier performed manually, quickly, and repeatedly.

Is Manual Testing Dead?

No, it’s not dead, it never will be. There will always be some need for manual testing. After all, we are human beings, we are intelligent and we can perceive things that automation cannot. Other reasons that suggest that manual testing will never be dead, can be listed as –

  • Helps to check visual appeal from human perspective
  • Exploratory testing
  • Applications in projects with short life cycle  – People with required skills are required for automation feasibility 
  • Automation can be too expensive for smaller projects 
  • It is not viable to automate everything 

Disadvantages of Manual Testing

  • GUI objects, pixel size difference, and color combination, etc. is not easy to find out in manual testing
  • Load testing and performance testing is not possible in manual testing
  • Running tests manually is a time-consuming job
  • CICD, Shift Left misfit
  • Regression Test cases are time-consuming in manual testing
  • Repeated tasks, masking certain tasks mundane
  • You may miss out certain issues while doing task manually

Importance of Automation Testing

Automation testing offers some advantages over manual testing, let’s take a look at them –

Reliable – Since its a machine, it eliminates human errors and reduces chances of any missouts

Repeatable – Run N number of times for regression

Reusable – Reuse tests in different versions/environments of an application, even if the user interface changes

Fast – Faster execution than manual testing 

Cost reduction – The cost of resources and time for regression testing is reduced, making it beneficial in long-run projects. 

Watch the webinar here –

Why Should You Become an Automation Tester?

You Like Coding 

If you are considering a career in automation testing then definitely you have always wanted to code. You came to manual testing and now you want to move ahead and make the next career move.

Higher Demands 

Software testers with manual testing alone won’t cut in today’s job market, you need to upgrade yourself to keep up with the market trends

  • Gaining test automation skills is a quality assurance career these days 
  • Remain marketable as a tester

Demand for automation testing vs manual testing over time

Demand for automation testing vs manual testing over time


Better Salaries

As per Ambitionbox, below is the comparison between the salaries of both the designations. You can take a broader idea of the salary difference between test engineers and SDET in India.

Career Path in Software Testing – What Are the Choices?

In software testing, automation tests are not the only choice that you have here. There are a lot of other career options in SDET. Let’s explore them. 

Stay in Testing Field

  1. Become a Manual/Functional/Domain specialist or specialize in areas like –
  • Mobile apps/site testing
  • IOT
  • API/Service level testing/Microservices
  • Security testing
  • Performance testing
  • Accessibility testing
  1. Enter the world of automation testing and become –
  • Automation tester
  • SDET
  • Full Stack Tester
  • Automation Lead
  • Test Architect
  • SDET manager/Test manager
  • Director/VP/Head of Quality

Move Away from Testing

If you are willing to give up software testing and explore other career opportunities, there are a myriad of career opportunities for you. You can make a shift in your career and even go for higher education. Other suitable job profiles can be –

  • Business analyst
  • Product manager
  • Project manager
  • Agile expert
  • Scrum master
  • DevOps engineer
  • Development
  • Any other role of your choice 

If you are still considering making a career in automation testing only, let’s move on to the next part of the article.

Skills to Become an Automation Expert

Now that you have made up your mind to make a career in automation testing, here are some of the mandatory skills for you to acquire 

Be a tester first

  • Sharpen your analytical skills 
  • Improve your communication skills
  • Learn how to manage time
  • Passion and ownership of testing
  • Learn to understand the application functionality thoroughly
  • Understand the application architecture thoroughly

Learn the Basics of Programming

Learn the basic concepts of programming and then move on to learn automation. It is a must to have a knowledge of programming languages like –

  • Java
  • Javascript
  • Python
  • C#

Earn Hands-on Experience

  • Practice on real world scenarios
  • End to end user journeys/flows
  • Try and automate things you think you could never do. Take up challenges
  • Use automation tools that companies use in their day-to-day automation tasks

Tools for Becoming an Automation Expert

In this section, we will cover the essential tools required to become an automation tester, which are –

Web Automation Tools

  • Selenium – Most Popular, multiple browser, multiple languages, parallel execution
  • – Webdriver with Javascript, easy set up
  • Cypress – Javascript
  • TestCafe – Typescript/Javascript
  • Google Puppeteer – Javascript
  • Microsoft Playwright – Javascript, Python, Java, .NET, parallel execution, visual comparison

Mobile App Automation Tools

  • Appium – Similar to Selenium, support for Android and iOS apps
  • Calabash – Support for Android and iOS apps, supports Ruby
  • XCUI Test – Apple, iOS only, Dev friendly
  • Espresso – Google, Android only, Dev friendly
  • Eggplant, Ranorex, TestProject

API Automation Tools

  • Rest Assured Library – Java
  • Rest Sharp – C#
  • Karate
  • Apache Http client Java library

Visual Testing Automation Tools

  • Applitools – AI-powered, market leader, supports multiple automation tools like Selenium, available for web & app automation
  • Percy – Supports multiple automation tools, not for native apps
  • Galen – Layout testing, tests location of objects related to each other on the page


  • Integrated Development Environment for ease of coding and maximizing programmer productivity
  • Consists of source code editor, debugger, compiler, integrated version control with Git, build automation tools like Eclipse, Intelligent visual studio

Test Automation IDEs/Platforms

  • Complete solution for test automation
  • Provide Web, API and iOS automation, codeless test creation, record and playback, inbuilt parallel execution support, detailed execution reports; provides integration with CICD, Version control tools
  • TestProject, Katalon Studio, TestComplete, Ranorex

Unit Testing Tools

Used to test individual units or components

  • Used along with automation tools like Selenium
  • Examples – TestNg, Junit, Nunit, Jest, PyTtest, etc.
  • Offers support for 
    • Data driven tests- increase test coverage
    • Execute tests in parallel -saves time
    • Assertions
    • Basic reporting
    • Groping of test cases- Sanity, Regression suites

Built Tools 

These are programs that automate the creation of executable applications from source code.

  • Includes activities like compiling, linking and packaging the code into an executable form
  • Apache Maven, Apache Ant, Gradle
  • Used for test environment setup, test execution


CI and CD stand for continuous integration and continuous delivery/continuous deployment. CI is a reliable practice of making incremental code changes frequently. You can perform this practice using the below tools –

  • Jenkins, Travis CI, Azure Devops – Used for scheduled/triggered execution of tests
  • Version control: Gotlab, Github, TFS

Test Reporting

  • Useful for management and stakeholders
  • Should include Steps, Screenshots, Videos, Stacktraces – Helps in debugging failed cases
  • Extent Reports, Allure reports, Junit/TestNg html reports

We hope this article helped you determine your career path to become an automation testing engineer. Do check the webinar and keep following Shiksha Online for trending career paths and other informative content.

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About the Author
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio