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How can learning scripting languages help junior testers?

As a junior tester, I think learning scripting languages could make me more valuable to my team and enhance my career. But how do I pick the scripting language to learn?

When it comes to learning scripting languages, there are several mainstream options to consider. The right one comes down to what you already work on and what you want to accomplish.

Common choices include Python, JavaScript, Go and Ruby.

However, people don't pursue a new computer language without a problem or application already in mind. They have a goal beyond simply memorizing language instructions and syntax. Junior testers with a goal in mind are more likely to succeed at learning scripting languages. After you've chosen your objective, review the language options and determine which is best suited to realize that goal.

Learn scripting languages that are already relevant to you. Maybe your team uses Python, or you have heard that Go is easy to learn. See if a project already has examples written in a particular language, or if you can find implementations of important algorithms through a search.

Don't agonize over which scripting language to approach. Once you learn to write scripts, an additional language is just a matter of understanding new instructions. Both the instructions and syntax are often fairly similar across languages.

What are some common scripting languages to learn?

Python: Python is an interpreted, object-oriented programming language heralded by users for clear syntax and readability. Python was created by Guido van Rossum in the late 1980s.

JavaScript: JavaScript is an interpreted language that is not object-oriented. Brendan Eich introduced the language for browsers in the mid-1990s, and it is used today in the client space and on the server side.

Go: Go is a concurrency-friendly language that is compiled, though users say it behaves like an interpreted language. It was created in the late 2000s by Google's Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike and Ken Thompson.

Ruby: Ruby is another interpreted, object-oriented programming language. Users praise its simple syntax. Yukihiro Matsumoto created the language in the mid-1990s.

Once you achieve competency, practice to keep up those skills. Find other projects to create or volunteer to write scripts for your team, for example. Learning scripting languages can build a better software testing career.

This was last published in May 2018

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