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Why am I not a programmer if I write automated tests?

Not long ago, Standa Keppert was talking to a friend about his job when his friend asked him: "With all the skills you have as an automation tester, why don't you become a programmer?" Let's take a look together with Standa at his perspective. What is involved in programming, IT work, and what does a developer and automation tester do?

First, let's describe what a programmer and automation tester should be able to do, and then we'll look at the differences in their work.

Definition of a programmer (also known as a developer or software engineer):

An expert in software development, who writes code in various programming languages (JAVA, .NET, C#, C++, etc.). A programmer specializes in developing applications, programs, websites, software tools, and other software products that users of computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices use.

A programmer must have good knowledge of one or more programming languages and must be able to efficiently write code that is readable, maintainable, and scalable. They should also be able to analyze problems and find effective solutions through programming.

Currently, programming is a key area of IT, and programmers are in high demand in the job market.


Definition of an automation tester (also known as an automated tester or test automation engineer):

A specialist in creating automated tests for software. The main task of an automation tester is to design, create and execute test scripts that enable automated testing of software products.

An automation tester must have a good understanding of programming, software testing and tools for test automation. They must be able to convert manual testing scenarios into automated scripts that can be executed repeatedly without manual intervention.

And what is automation testing used for? It is used to accelerate the testing process, reduce errors, and increase testing efficiency. This can lead to improved software quality and savings in time and testing costs.

Are you interested in working in the IT field? Would you like to work as an IT specialist? Check out our job offers. Whether you are a junior or senior programmer, a starting tester or a senior tester, let us know and we will find an IT project that suits you.


Differences between the work of a programmer and an automation tester

We have described both professions, and now let's try to find the differences. The main difference between a programmer and an automation tester is their focus on different aspects of software development.


A programmer focuses primarily on creating the program code and developing applications and software products. They have deep knowledge of programming languages and work with various development environments, libraries, and frameworks.

Automation Tester

An automation tester focuses on software testing and creating automated tests. Their main task is to verify that the software works correctly and meets the requirements. They must have good knowledge of testing tools, automation, and programming.

While the programmer focuses on creating the code, the automation tester focuses on testing and validating the software. This means that their roles complement each other. The programmer can create code, and the automation tester can create test scripts that verify that the code works correctly.

And what happens when things don't work out and the programmer writes some functionality incorrectly and the automation tester finds it? Do you remember Mortal Kombat? The beginning of the fight was announced with "FIGHT!" It might not be as intense in this case, but sometimes (depending on a person, especially if they are choleric), a fight begins.

Why might an automation tester not want to be a developer?

In some cases, an automation tester may become a developer, or conversely, a developer may become an automation tester.

However, there are several reasons why an automation tester might prefer working as a tester rather than a developer:

  • Different skills and focus

An automation tester focuses on software testing and has deeper knowledge of testing tools, automation, and test programming, while a developer focuses on creating the actual program code and has deeper knowledge of programming languages and development tools.

  • Different roles in the team

A developer and an automation tester play significantly different roles in the team. A developer focuses on creating software, while an automation tester focuses on testing software. Both are important for successful software development, but they have different roles and tasks.

  • Interest in testing

Some people have a natural interest in testing and validating software. These individuals want to specialize in testing and utilize their skills in this area.

  • Personal preference

Some people simply prefer working as an automation tester rather than a developer due to personal preference, interests, and abilities.


It is important to realize that the decision to become an automation tester does not necessarily mean that the tester does not want to be a developer, but rather that they feel better equipped for the role of an automation tester and are interested in working in this area.

In general, it cannot be said that all automation testers would like to be developers, as each individual has their own reasons for feeling attracted to automated testing and their own career ambitions.


Some automation testers might want to become developers for these reasons:

  • They are interested in programming and want to further improve their skills in it.
  • They want more control over the creation of testing software and missing functionality.
  • They want to learn new programming languages and technologies that could be advantageous for their career.
  • They want more opportunities for career development because developers are often perceived as key players in the IT industry.
  • They are interested in the overall software development, not just testing, and want to be involved in the software creation process from beginning to end.


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