Dorothy Graham, Software Consultant
There is a view that testers should be technical (i.e. have programming skills), especially if they are involved in test automation.
Although this can work well, particularly in an agile team, not all testers need or want to be technical, especially those with a business or application background – it is my belief that this should not preclude them from using test automation!
A tester who is also a software developer is, of course, a very useful person to have on the team. They are able to work with test automation scripts and understand both the testing aspects and the technical aspects of the automation code. But just because this has benefits in some cases, does not mean that this is the best in all cases.
The programming skills needed to work directly with a test automation tool do not need to reside in someone who is also a tester. The testing skills needed to produce good quality tests, those that will find bugs, give confidence and reduce risk, do not need to reside in someone who is also a developer. These are separate skills sets, separate roles.
Skilled testers should not be forced to abandon their vocation, to the detriment of their organizations, because tests are being automated. This presentation addresses how and why technically skilled test automators can and should support and enable non-technical testers to write and run automated tests.