10 Essential Skills Every Automation Tester Should Have – A Comprehensive Guide 2023

Automation Tester: The rise of technology has significantly amplified the importance of software testing. Automation testing, in particular, has become a popular approach to ensuring software quality, hastening testing processes, and minimizing errors. As automation testers hold a critical role in this process, their skills are pivotal to the success of any project.

This article aims to discuss the ten indispensable skills that every automation tester should possess, ranging from technical competencies to communication and collaboration skills.

What Is Software Automation Testing?

Software Automation Testing is a critical component of the software development process, leveraging specialized tools and automated scripts to ensure the quality and accuracy of software products. It involves testing the software’s performance and functionality against predefined criteria to assess its overall performance.

An Automation Tester, also known as an SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test), is a skilled professional who performs the combined duties of a developer and tester. They possess extensive knowledge of programming and software development, as well as experience in testing software applications using automated tools and scripts. SDETs play a vital role in ensuring that software applications are thoroughly tested and meet the highest standards of quality and performance.

Why Is Software Automation Testing Needed?

Automation testing is a powerful software testing technique that plays a critical role in ensuring software quality and accuracy. It minimizes the occurrence of errors, reduces the amount of manual effort required, and assists developers in quickly identifying and addressing code issues.

By automating software tests, businesses can identify problems swiftly and effectively, resulting in considerable time and cost savings in the development process. Automation testing also enables companies to test numerous scenarios simultaneously, providing insights into how their application performs under a variety of conditions.

10 Essential Skills Every Automation Tester Should Have

1.   Knowledge of Software Testing Principles and Concepts

A comprehensive understanding of software testing principles and concepts is crucial to the success of testing and automation testing. These principles encompass a range of areas, such as the development of test strategies and designs, debugging systems, validating output results, and automated frameworks, among others. These principles serve as the foundation for effective software testing, and thus, it is essential to gain a thorough understanding of them.

A sound understanding of the software development life cycle (SDLC) is also essential, as automation testing is integrated into the software development process. By understanding these concepts, automation testers can create effective test strategies, automate test frameworks, and design automated tests.

2.   Programming Languages

Proficiency in various programming languages is vital for automation testers to develop effective software testing tools. Familiarity with languages such as Java, C++, and Python is essential as these languages are commonly used in software application development.

Having expertise in multiple programming languages allows automation testers to create versatile tools that can address a variety of testing needs, including performance, security, and functional testing.

3.   Knowledge of Software Automation Testing Tools

To succeed in automation testing, testers must possess in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in using automation tools. It is imperative to understand the suitability of the tool for the specific task, as each job may require distinct approaches and techniques to validate its success.

Selecting the appropriate software automation testing tool can be a daunting task, but there are numerous options available. Selenium, UFT/QTP (Unified Functional Testing), Cucumber, TestComplete, Appium, and Ranorex are among the most popular tools that have been proven effective in streamlining test processes while ensuring accuracy and quality of results. It is crucial to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each tool and choose the one that best fits the project’s specific needs. Choosing the right software automation testing tool can help streamline test processes while ensuring the accuracy and quality of results.

4.   Database Querying

Automated testing is an essential process in software development that requires ensuring the integrity of data within software applications. As such, automation testers need to possess a high level of proficiency in writing complex queries that can be executed against databases to validate data and ensure the correct functioning of software applications.

Automation testers need to have a strong understanding of database management systems and query languages such as SQL (Structured Query Language). SQL is a standardized language used for the management of relational databases and is widely used for data querying, insertion, modification, and deletion.

The ability to create efficient and effective queries is critical to identifying data discrepancies, improving data quality, and ensuring the overall reliability of software applications.

5.   Test Design and Execution

Automation testers must have comprehensive knowledge and expertise to design, develop, and execute test plans, scripts, and other strategies that guarantee maximum testing coverage.

Automated tests are often used for regression testing, which means multiple rounds of tests will be conducted over time as the product or system evolves.

This requires tests to not only detect bugs and errors but also to detect any changes that affect the existing tests.

6.   GUI Testing

GUI testing is a fundamental aspect of automation testing that involves evaluating the performance and functionality of software interfaces. Automation testers use specialized tools to mimic user interactions with the GUI and verify that the software behaves as expected. Tools like Selenium can simulate user actions, such as clicking buttons and filling out forms, and validate that the application provides the expected functionality. This testing approach ensures that the GUI is user-friendly, responsive, and functions correctly across various platforms and devices.

Moreover, GUI-based applications are susceptible to security vulnerabilities, making GUI testing an essential part of security testing. By conducting GUI testing, automation testers can identify potential security vulnerabilities like XSS, CSRF, and SQL injection attacks. These security breaches can be mitigated by simulating malicious input values into forms and validating whether the application correctly rejects them or if they lead to security breaches.

Additionally, testers can verify the effectiveness of security mechanisms like login screens, access controls, and encryption protocols to safeguard against potential security breaches. The outcomes of GUI testing help ensure that the software interface functions optimally provides a positive user experience, and remains secure from potential vulnerabilities.

7.   Familiarity with Test Management Tools

Automation testers require a thorough understanding of testing tools and frameworks to ensure the quality of software applications. Among these tools, test management software such as HP Quality Center and TestLink is widely used to manage test cases and defects and generate reports. These tools provide testers with a centralized platform to create and execute test cases and manage test data.

In addition, to test management tools, defect-tracking programs such as Bugzilla, Mantis, and JIRA are vital for automation testers. These tools allow testers to log, track, and manage defects found during testing. They provide a platform for assigning, prioritizing, and tracking the status of each issue, enabling effective resolution of problems.

8.   Documentation Skills

Effective documentation is a critical aspect of automation testing, and it plays a vital role in ensuring the quality of software applications. Automation testers must produce well-organized and detailed documents that accurately describe their tests, including the expected results, any pre- or post-conditions, and any assumptions made during testing. In addition, documentation should provide a clear and concise overview of the testing process, helping other team members to understand the testing framework and results, reduce the risk of errors, and improve the overall quality of the software application.

When creating test cases for web applications, automation testers should document all necessary information, such as the access method to the application, the required user credentials, and the actions needed to execute each test case. The documentation should also include detailed descriptions of each test case, including the expected results, any pre- or post-conditions, and any assumptions made during testing. Any issues encountered during testing should be documented as well, along with information about how they were resolved.

Good documentation practices ensure that automation testers can create a comprehensive and efficient testing framework that can be easily maintained and improved over time.

9.   Source Code Version Control

Version control systems are fundamental tools for managing software development projects and are critical for effective automation testing. These systems enable centralized management of source code changes, including tracking of versions, collaboration on development tasks, and sharing of code among team members. Among the popular version control systems are GIT, SVN, and CVS.

Automation testers who possess knowledge of version control systems can easily track and manage changes to the source code that could potentially impact their tests. The automation tester can quickly identify the impact of changes on test cases, update them accordingly and ensure that they are always up-to-date and reflect the current state of the software application.

10.  Soft Skills

Soft skills are a critical component of a successful automation testing career, particularly in the context of working closely with developers. Automation testers need to possess excellent communication and collaboration skills to communicate effectively with developers and other stakeholders in the development process. They must be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly, concisely, and persuasively. Additionally, automation testers must be adept at working in a team-based environment where collaboration, cooperation, and coordination are essential.

To be successful in software testing, automation testers must also possess strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These skills enable them to analyze and evaluate complex problems, identify potential solutions, and make informed decisions based on the available data. Moreover, automation testers must be able to work efficiently under tight deadlines and manage their time effectively, ensuring that they meet project timelines and deliverables.

Take Your Automation Testing Skills to the Next Level with LambdaTest

LambdaTest is a cloud-based cross-browser testing platform that empowers users to perform automated and manual testing on over 3,000 different browsers, operating systems, and devices. This platform’s automation testing capabilities enable users to test their web applications faster and more efficiently without requiring extensive coding knowledge for running Selenium, Cypress, Playwright, and Puppeteer test cases.

LambdaTest offers a wealth of resources for those seeking to enhance their automation testing skills. The platform’s blog is a great starting point, providing a diverse range of articles covering cross-browser testing best practices, automation testing frameworks and tools, as well as tips and tricks for leveraging the LambdaTest platform effectively.

In addition, LambdaTest hosts webinars that enable users to learn directly from industry experts on various automation testing topics, including testing automation strategies, optimizing test suites, and web application testing best practices. These webinars are available on demand, enabling learners to study at their own pace.

LambdaTest’s video tutorials provide detailed instructions on how to perform various testing tasks using the platform, making them ideal for visual learners. Finally, the LambdaTest Learning Hub offers a range of courses, tutorials, and certifications that enable users to enhance their automation testing skills, from basic concepts to advanced topics like test automation frameworks and CI/CD integration.

In conclusion, LambdaTest is a valuable platform for those seeking to improve their automation testing skills. With resources like blogs, webinars, videos, and a learning hub, users can easily enhance their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest trends in automation testing.


The field of software automation testing demands a range of both technical and interpersonal skills to execute successful testing. Strong communication and collaboration skills are essential since automation testers work closely with developers. Additionally, testers must work well in a team environment, think critically, and possess the ability to solve problems quickly while maintaining excellent time management skills.

To succeed in software automation testing, one must possess an in-depth understanding of the necessary concepts and tools. An effective method of mastering both theoretical and practical elements is to enroll in an intensive software testing course that provides comprehensive instruction.

Even seasoned automation testers must remain current with the latest trends in software testing and continually expand their skills. This can be achieved through attending educational conferences or engaging in continuing education, such as attending a challenging software testing course. With a wide range of skills at their disposal, automation testers can guarantee that software applications are thoroughly tested and released on schedule.

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