Common automation testing certifications (with definition)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Before they release new products for customers to purchase, some companies may conduct rigorous automation testing. This ensures that the product meets quality requirements and performs as intended. Understanding how automation testing works and the available certifications you can pursue can help you decide if this career route is suitable for you. In this article, we explain what automation testing is, list some of the common automation testing certifications and look at Selenium testing certifications.

Related: How to become a software development engineer in test: a guide

What is automation testing?

Automation testing is an essential step that takes place before launching a new product. Companies have a responsibility to adhere to strict quality requirements, so testing takes place to ensure their products meet these and perform as intended. For instance, companies may carry out software testing to check for bugs or weaknesses that prevent it from working. Also, a company may perform product and equipment testing to look for defects that may be a potential safety issue for consumers. While some companies may conduct manual testing, such as regression or functional testing, automation testing is often more beneficial for organisations.

For instance, automation testing can run at any time of the day and provide faster assessments for new products, in addition to detecting issues at the early stage of the testing process. This enables developers to easily correct the product and improve its quality. Automation testing also saves time and costs due to fewer required resources, alongside offering greater insights when compared to manual testing. To work in automation testing, it can often be beneficial to gain certifications, which allow you to demonstrate your technical skills, testing knowledge and commitment to this line of work to prospective employers.

Related: A comprehensive list of popular automation testing tools

Common automation testing certifications

Below, you can find out more about some common automation testing certifications:

Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL)

The International Software Testing Qualifications Board's (ISTQB) CTFL certification provides individuals with the necessary knowledge for performing an automation tester's duties. It explains the terminology used in this field and teaches the fundamental concept of software testing. With this certification, you can gain access to the ISTQB's more advanced certifications.

It's primarily for those who want to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of automation testing, such as testers, test engineers, analysts, test managers and test consultants. It can also benefit user acceptance testers and software developers. For candidates to understand the course material, it's advisable that they have basic IT knowledge. Additionally, participants usually have a minimum of six months of experience in software development and at least 18 hours of software testing training. You can expect to learn the following when completing this certification:

  • Testing fundamentals: This section of the course covers what testing is, why it's necessary and the seven testing principles. Then, it covers the testing process and the psychology of testing.

  • Testing throughout the software development lifecycle: Included in this section are the software development lifecycle models, test levels and types. This part of the course concludes by covering maintenance testing, what it is and why it's crucial for testing professionals to know.

  • Static testing: Here, you can learn the basics of static testing, including what it is and how testing professionals use it. At the end of this section, you then learn about the review process.

  • Test techniques: The fourth section covers the different techniques used in automation testing. Here, you can learn about the different categories of test techniques, including black-box, white-box and experienced-based test techniques.

  • Test management: This part of the course teaches you about test organisation, planning, estimation, monitoring and control. It then covers configuration management, risks and testing and defect management.

  • Tool support for testing: The final section details the test tool considerations and covers the effective use of tools. After completing this section, you can then sit the exam to obtain the certification.

Related: 12 entry-level IT certifications that can boost your career

Certified Tester Advanced Level Test Analyst (CTAL-TA)

ISTQB's CTAL-TA certification teaches the skills required to perform structured and thorough software testing throughout its development. It also provides in-depth training on how to perform a test analyst's duties. This certification is mainly for those who want to develop their knowledge and experience in test analysis and test design techniques. Professionals such as test analysts, engineers, consultants and managers can benefit from completing this course. Additionally, project and quality managers can pursue this certification to broaden their understanding of software testing.

The CTAL-TA is an advanced certification course that's aimed at professionals who already have a working knowledge of software testing. To achieve this certification, it's necessary for candidates to gain the CTFL certification. In addition, successful candidates can demonstrate practical experience in this field. By pursuing this certification, you can expect to learn the following:

  • Test analyst's role in the testing process: The first section introduces you to a test analyst's duties, including testing in the software development lifecycle, test analysis and design. This opening section concludes by providing you with an understanding of test implementation and execution.

  • Test analyst's role in risk-based testing: This section introduces you to risk-based testing. It covers risk identification, assessment and mitigation.

  • Test techniques: Section three allows you to learn about the different techniques used in testing. It covers black-box and experienced-based test techniques and teaches you how to apply the most appropriate technique.

  • Testing software quality characteristics: This section of the course introduces you to the quality characteristics for business domain testing. It looks at the functional testing of a product, which focuses on what the product's intended function is.

  • Reviews: The penultimate section covers reviews of the testing procedure. It allows you to understand how to use checklists in reviews and why it's vital to use them effectively.

  • Test tools and automation: The final section covers keyword-driven testing and the different types of test tools. After completing this section, you can then take the exam.

Related: 24 common software testing types and when to use them

Selenium testing certifications

Selenium is a free, open-source testing framework that contains a range of tools that are primarily aimed at supporting browser automation. Testers use Selenium to validate web applications across different browsers and platforms. They also utilise programming languages, such as C#, to generate test scripts. Selenium caters for different QA testing needs and testers can gain various certifications to prove their skills and experience with this framework.

These certifications also help testing professionals to become familiar with the basics of testing web applications with Selenium. Testers can then demonstrate to prospective employers that they can build, enhance and maintain scripts. This involves using both Selenium IDE and Selenium WebDriver. To pursue Selenium certifications, it's often necessary to have some software development experience, in addition to general knowledge of programming and working with Python. Generally, those who study for these courses already have some understanding of web-based applications. There are various Selenium certifications available and you can expect to learn the following during these courses:

  • Selenium fundamentals: The first module for many of these certifications introduces you to Selenium, including what it is and how automation testers use it in their work. It usually also covers the key features of Selenium and its benefits.

  • Different components of Selenium: This part of the certification explains the differences between Selenium and other automation tools. Also, they usually discuss Selenium WebDriver and Selenium Grid in more detail.

  • Configuration of IDE and scripts: Additionally, these certifications teach you how to record scripts in IDE. And, you can learn the difference between test cases and test suits.

  • Introduction to Selenium WebDriver: Selenium certifications often compare Selenium WebDriver to Selenium Remote Control (RC), in addition to teaching you the basics of using web browser commands. You can also learn about the different types of Xpaths and how to use them to locate web page elements, work with table elements and read data from a table.

  • TestNG framework: Here, you can learn what TestNG is and how to create a TestNG file while also integrating Selenium scripts to run from TestNG. In addition, you can learn how to report results, analysis and TestNG annotations.

  • Selenium framework: During these certifications, you can also gain an understanding of how to use the different Selenium frameworks, including the data, keyword-driven and hybrid frameworks. Moreover, you can learn how to develop, integrate and execute scripts with the Selenium framework.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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