Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Dear Evil Tester: "I think that if I 'learn automation' I can get this specific type of job"

TLDR; Learn with an end goal in mind. That will keep you focussed.

Following on from the ’How do I learn ‘automation’?" question. We had to ask questions to see what they would do with this newly learned ability to automate. If it was to find a job, and they had a specific type of job in mind then I think we could probably answer the question.

If you have a better job in mind

For the marketplace, if you want to ‘learn automation’ because:
  • you want to get a new job in a specific organisation,
  • you want to work with a specific technology
You have a better idea of the job you want in mind. You aren’t just competing for a general ‘job’.

  • You have identified the features of the job you want.
  • You have conducted some research and know they type of tools and libraries that are used for the technology you want to work with.
  • You have a smaller subset of tools and libraries you want to learn.
  • You know the names and features of a subset of programming languages you could learn.
  • You know what automating with those tools and those technologies can achieve.
In short, you’ve done some research and you want some of that good ‘automation’ stuff.
This puts you in a better position because you have more focus.
Even better if you have ‘tried’ to ‘learn automation’ on your own already. Because you’ll know what worked what didn’t and what was missing from your current approach:
  • too much information at a more advanced step in the process than you have reached yet
    • you want to find a beginner’s guide
  • information that stops before going into detail
    • you want a structured set of exercises that takes you beyond where you are
  • etc.
I’ve found that if you can reach this position on your own then you are in the best place to ‘learn automation’.
You will have the motivation to follow through and do the work because you have an end game in mind, and it is one you want.
Under these circumstances I can usually point people at either the resources I’ve created or books that I recommend.
Some stuff I’ve recommended to people in this circumstance recently:
For Structured basics:
Yeah, I recommend my stuff, because those are the exact situations that I designed them to address. And people have told me that my course has helped them find a new job - because they put the work in to use the material to do that.
For ‘going further’:
For funny and thought provoking "Dear Evil Tester" answers, read the book.

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