• Introduction
  • Four Major Roles and Their Responsibilities

Pre-requisite/ Tools:

  • none


As business environments are ever fast-paced, and systems are getting more complex raising risks in development and deployment, the use of an Automation tool becomes a great idea, however, a tool is only as good as the person using it, hence, the need for a structured testing process and a test team with the appropriate skills distribution to implement automation.

Considering this topic is vital before any Test Automation implementation activities i.e. after Test automation adoption has been agreed between relevant stakeholders and the Goal of Automation has been established and in our case Regression Test of Web application UI.

It is essential to acknowledge the fact that Building a framework is a project on its own as we are developing a software to test software. This means it should follow normal SDLC phases including Testing.

Four Major roles and Their responsibilities:

Please note there are numerous title being used by different companies but based on the description you can decide what transitioning from a Manual to an Automation tester means to you. Please find below what i will call the different types of Automation Tester, of course, in the context of UI Automation.

Software Developer Engineer in Test – SDET

These are highly Technical individuals and as the name says, they are software developers. They design and make decisions on automation architecture and Framework to be used across individual or multiple projects, the SDET also conducts in-house knowledge transfer and training.

Required skills:

  • Software development skills including Coding, design patterns etc.
  • Knowledge of test automation tool
  • Ability to follow company’s convention and procedures

Automation Environment Expert

They will design and configure test environment, automation tool upgrade etc. This role could be assumed by the SDET depending on his skill set and size of project or even by the QA Engineer.

Required skills:

  • Knowledge of test environments, tools, practices and procedures.

Manual Testers

These are the project specific experts whose role is to analyse system requirements and design manual Test scenarios with data requirements. They will assist with other members of the automation team to help select test cases which are automation candidates and they will still carry out non-candidates  manually.

Required skills:

  • Software testing and documentation.

Automation Test Engineer:

Automation Testers/QA Engineers create automation scripts (likely developed from manual scenarios) against the framework. They will also have expertise in the project they are working on, they will assist in the execution and verification of the results. They are kind of in between the Manual Testers and the SDET and infact in most cases, they are manual testers with more technical skills.

Required skills:

  • Good knowledge of tools (e.g. Unit Testing tools) and testing in general.

The Diagram below shows a very simple model of an automation team where the SDET develops the framework and Automation Testers write scripts against the framework.


Framework setup
Framework setup


Understanding the roles involved and the scope of responsibilities is key to know which training and skills are needed and to what depth they will help toward achieving your goals and the success of the project.

Any thoughts, questions, comments, addition, or anything you don’t like, do not hesitate to leave a comment or contact me. Thank you! and Don’t forget to subscribe


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