How to switch careers from retail cashier to QA Automation Engineer

Are you considering a career change from a retail cashier to a QA (quality assurance) automation engineer? If so, you may be wondering what steps you need to take in order to make this transition. Here are some tips to help you successfully switch careers and become a QA automation engineer.

  1. Obtain the necessary education and training. Depending on the specific requirements of the QA automation engineer role you are interested in, you may need to obtain a degree in a related field such as computer science or engineering. Alternatively, you may be able to gain the necessary skills through online courses or certification programs. For example, I'm using Playwright at my current job to do automated testing against a desktop application. You can learn Playwright for a low price on Udemy. In any case, it is important to have a strong foundation in programming languages such as Java or Python, as well as familiarity with software development and testing principles. Other languages used in QA automation with less popularity include JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, and C#.

  2. Gain relevant experience. While formal education is important, it is also important to have hands-on experience in the field. This can be achieved through internships, part-time jobs, or even personal projects. Consider working on projects that involve automation testing or developing your own automation scripts. This will help you build a portfolio and demonstrate your skills to potential employers. Even better is to build an entire automation framework from scratch using the latest tools and technologies. If you're a Java developer, this is a good example of what that could look like for you.

  3. Build a network of professionals. Networking is crucial in any career, and the field of QA automation is no exception. Attend industry events, join relevant online forums or groups, and reach out to professionals in the field to learn more about the industry and make connections. These connections can be valuable when it comes to finding job opportunities or getting advice on how to break into the field. If you work at a tech company or a company that employs QA automation engineers, see if you can grab coffee with one of them or introduce yourself during the workday.

  4. Keep learning and staying up-to-date. Technology is constantly changing, and it is important to stay current with the latest tools and techniques in the field. This may involve continuing your education through online courses or attending workshops and conferences. By staying up-to-date, you can increase your value as a QA automation engineer and make yourself more attractive to potential employers.

Switching careers can be a challenging but rewarding process. By following these steps and being proactive in your job search, you can successfully transition from a retail cashier to a QA automation engineer and begin a new and exciting career in the tech industry. It took me a few years to do this, and I stepped through a couple of hoops in the process, first becoming a help desk support agent for mobile app users, and then a QA analyst before I made it to my first QA automation role. Your mileage may vary, but you can absolutely get there!

The article you just read began as a ChatGPT article. I've made additions and edits to the information to improve the quality of the content.