Among software testing professionals, a big chunk of people are into manual functional testing. I heard many of them saying "Manual testing is a boring job", "I am not paid well compared to a Performance Testing professional or Automation Testing professional", "I want to learn Test Automation / Performance Testing", etc. Many of them fail to get into either of them. The reason behind this is that many testing professionals are allergic to coding. Even some of them left software development because they did not want to continue writing software code.
If you have made a decision to learn test automation, then I want you to ask few questions to yourself. First and foremost is "why you want to learn automation?". If the answer is "I want to get better pay package", then it is better to rethink learning automation. Because it is a myth that people who are technical are paid better than others. If you are not good at coding, being on test automation might not be a good decision. According to me understanding the business functionalities and writing good test cases is also not an easy job. Functional testers having immense domain knowledge are given much more importance than automation testers.
There are people who were into functional testing but are very much interested in coding. They feel good being on test automation as it is like software development work ("code to break").
Here, I am not discouraging anybody who want to learn automation. Just, was sharing some of my thoughts.
Here are some tips to start learning automation.
To start with, it is better to put some baby steps in test automation. Pickup any of the test automation tools such as QuickTest Professional, Selenium, TestComplete, etc better would be QTP. As QTP is an user friendly tool it will be easy to learn. Try learning some of the features of the tool such as Recording and Play, Object Repository, generating reports and some of the other features which you can easily understand. Try to use the tool in your day to day work. For example, if there are test cases in which many forms have to be filled then automate these tasks. This will bring down the burden of mundane tasks and also keeps you on track.
One of the other tool to learn would be Selenium which is an open source tool. This can be downloaded free of cost from the internet. Use this blog (www.selftechy.com) to learn Selenium.
What else you need!! Start!! Happy Automation!!