Test automation developer: job description

Test automation developers create programs that test software throughout the development cycle.

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What does a test automation developer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Test automation developers (also known as test automation engineers) are software developers who design and write programs that run automatic tests on new or existing software – an essential part of the software development cycle. They use automation frameworks (standardised guidelines) to build these programs on and write test scripts that do the testing. Different test automation developers specialise in particular automation tools, such as Selenium.

Typical responsibilities of a test automation developer include:

  • designing and writing test automation scripts
  • using test automation frameworks
  • investigating problems in software as a result of testing
  • working with QA analysts and software developers to find solutions

Typical employers of test automation developers

  • Software development companies
  • Financial services
  • Banks
  • Technology consultancies
  • Telecommunications companies
  • Public sector organisations

Jobs are advertised online, by careers services and by recruitment agencies.

Qualifications and training required

You can become a test automation developer with a degree or without one. However, most jobs are advertised to those who do have degrees, usually in computer science or a related subject.

A small number of apprenticeships in test developing are available. Applicants with some experience of software testing tools, such as Selenium, may be at an advantage. To find out more about getting into IT and technology via a school leaver route, visit the IT and technology section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for test automation developers

  • Programming languages, such as C# and Java
  • Mathematical aptitude and strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • An understanding of the latest trends and their role in a commercial environment
  • Teamwork skills, because most projects require input from individuals with different roles
  • Self-development skills to keep up to date with fast-changing trends

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