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QA Skills? Coding ability?

I was recently at a conference, and we did a Goldfish bowl discussion on will automated testing ever make manual testing redundant.

Things got heated, and whilst I don't think anyone ever said that automated testing will indeed make manual testing redundant, there was one interesting comment about a tester who has made it to the top without ever having written an automated test or written/seen a line of code, which is a pretty impressive feat, but not something that I would say as an argument against learning how to code.

However, I didn't think of this scenario until afterwards, but it reminded me of when I was at university in an American Football team, I won a number of awards and coming to the end of my time at university, there was a discussion within the team about making gym sessions compulsory in the future, I disagreed, and still do, but used the argument that I've got pretty good at it and very rarely attended the gym. However, looking back, I think how much better I could have possibly been had I attended the gym, and I think the same applies to this scenario here from a testing perspective.

Knowing how to code/automate tests will not necessarily make you a good tester, you need an abundance of other skills, however, knowing how to code and understanding how code fits together will help you become a better tester and improve your analytical skills in knowing where to test and the likelihood of failures.

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