- It saves you time.
- It frees you from some repetitive tasks.
- It helps you to think more critically about your testing.
When I'm manually testing, I tend to follow a written plan and add in a few ad hoc tests as well. But when I'm writing an automated test, I need to think about why I'm running the test. The test engine will not be exploring, so I'm going to need to tell it to do something very specific. What are the minimum steps required to ensure that the feature works? Will I need to vary those steps for broader coverage, and what will be the most efficient way to do that?
- It helps you to understand your development team.
Before I started writing automated tests, I knew a bit about coding from my college courses, but I'd never had real hands-on experience. Using an IDE and writing in Java helped me have more sympathy for what developers go through in order to code, and it also taught me how programs are structured and how the build process works. This has helped me become a better tester.
The path to learning automation won't be easy, but it will teach you important skills, streamline your testing process, help you understand the development life-cycle, and improve your thinking about your tests.