An automation test engineer determines the best way to convert a manual testing process into an automated testing process and employs various automation technologies to meet the testing goals. He or she typically assesses the effectiveness of automated testing protocols and systems designed to test the various functions of a product or a manufacturing process. The software code, required to run the test and process the results, is written and coded by the automation test engineer. Duties are generally dependent on the specific testing phases that they supervise.
In the unit test phase, the automation test engineer inputs an application code that is designed to accept and process test commands in a machine. The code is usually tested for repeatability, so that is can be tested on a periodic basis without interruption. Once the code has been given the OK, it is typically distributed to the machines on the production line.
The function and system test phase involves a set of commands that are generally designed to increase the speed of the testing. The engineer usually adjusts the software code to improve the efficiency of the test preparation process. Additionally, the automated test engineer may create test cases to prepare the machine for testing.
After the function and system test, an acceptance test is given by the engineer to see if the code will function as designed. The acceptance test is typically modified after the test results to improve effectiveness. If improvements are needed, they are generally conveyed to the test designer or test lead.
The test lead typically ensures that the automation goals of a system are met, while the automation test engineer measures, implements, and tests a solution. An automation engineer must also work closely with the test designer to determine the automation requirements for a particular project. Using that input as a guideline, the automation engineer determines how the automated system should be built. The automation engineer must also work closely with the application developer to address the challenges of implementation.
Automation test engineers are generally required to program automated scripts in the language of the software tools used by the company. In many situations, the logs and files created by the automation tools need to be interpreted and conveyed to the manual test engineer. Also, the engineer is typically required to maintain the testing scripts for use in other projects.