10 Basic Rules for Testers

10 Basic Rules for Beginners in Automation Testing

10 Basic Rules for TestersTesting is a hard task and automating it is a dream of every tester or developer. However, automation requires deep understanding of the process and constant practice along with following basic guidelines. We will describe these guidelines in this article to show you automation is done easily when done right.

How to learn automation testing easily?

Rule 1: Read the basics and learn them

Even skilled developers need to revise their knowledge from time to time, learning is a must. Automation is nothing but a mere evaluation of steps the program must perform, writing a detailed instruction. List of resources to learn automated testing basics can be found here.

Rule 2: Be prepared to meet the automation project

Practice is the only way to get valid knowledge. Grab any open source testing tool available, install it and learn using it in your free time. The sandbox may be anything, even your MS Office or Calculator tool. Just get the tool and get started, gain understanding and experience to be ready to facing the real project when need be.
Rule 3: Basic concepts are the same, just explore them
Apart from different peculiarities all coding languages basically operate the same concepts like variables, parameters, functions, different data types, loop or conditional statements, arrays, etc. After having these understood and remembered, you will be able to apply this knowledge to any coding language. Spare some time, a couple of weeks maybe on understanding the brick stones the code consists of.

Rule 4: Do not stop after the first program fail

Russians have a wonderful proverb: the first pancake is a mess. It means first try on anything will most likely fail, but all the next ones will be better, as you will gain experience in the process. No matter how good you are on theory, first practice likely will be disappointing. So just go on.

Rule 5: Look on code as a procedure, not a magic

Whenever beginner looks at the code, it seems nearly unbelievably complex. However, after doing some coding you will be able to recognize patterns and procedures at once, making reading the code much easier. You will see it is merely an instruction for the program, written as clear as it can be to avoid any mischief.

Rule 6: Explore the tool

The best way to get used to a tool is exploring its features one by one. Start with File section and click every menu, sub-menu and drop-down item all the way to Help section. Most of the items will have self-explanatory names and you will see what the others do.

Rule 7: Search for help in Help section

Whenever you are stuck feel free to read Help section of the tool. It is a wonderful source full of explanations and instructions upon every aspect of the tool’s usage. Explore it thoroughly to master the tool perfectly.

Rule 8: Practice a lot

Keep in mind testing as a validation process. It allows you to conclude if the code is functional or not. Your testing automation should be able to do the same thing, so make sure it does not give our the raw results, but the clear answer: yes or no, test passed or failed.

Rule 9: Improve your work

All things done well can be done even better. Revising and striving to improve your projects is a way to improving your skills and driving you on to new heights.

Rule 10: Automation is not always needed

Despite being so useful, automation is nothing more than a tool for a tester. Really skilled testers do not need it as can read the code easily and resolve the bugs on sight. Decide the way of actions on every particular case and use manual testing or automation if needed.


Those rules are not obligatory, yet they are simple and obvious. Following them will help you improving your skills and becoming a better tester.
If you wish to comment something, feel free to do so, as your feedback is always welcome.

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  1. August 22, 2013 @ 7:57 am Chrissifi

    After being out of main-stream testing for a few years I’m about to re-join a test team who are just getting started on automation. This article is reassuring as I’ve not been involved in automation before (other than a few recorded tests) and need to find a way to move the team forwards.

  2. August 22, 2013 @ 12:06 pm Richard

    This article is way too generic. Can you try creating one that is an introduction to Automation, possibly covering:

    “What companies are looking for” for example: Selenium, Silk Test, BDD, test framework architects, etc.

    “Where automation should be” for example: “Unit tests”, “Integration tests”, “System tests”, “Acceptance tests”, “Performance tests”, “Code coverage analytics”, “Smoke tests”, etc.

    “What should an automated tester cover” – where should we draw the line between Automated tester and developer? Using my examples above, there is a clear distinction in my mind (at the moment) that unit and integration tests should be covered by developers and the system, acceptance and smoke tests should be covered by an automated tester (with overlap of course).

    Given this would be an introductory article, can you suggest some useful tools to use or where to start, what your company uses and what you would recommend to others based on your experience.

Would you like to share your thoughts?

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