I want to talk today about priorities. If you are an automation tester read on. If you aren't then this probably does not concern you.
In our world of automation we face many problems. Framework, programing languages, abstraction, simplification, input focus and so on and so fort. We face the problem then what we do is not visible and does not provide feedback for a long time. It will reward you in the end but you have to get there first.
In terms of knowledge for an always automation guy technical knowledge is important. It's not only important it's essential. Without technical skills like programming you are not a very good automation expert are you?! So if you are an automation guy then what you need to learn is not testing heuristics and global knowledge of testing technnics but a very good technical skill set of things like:
- Design Patterns
- The selected programming language
- Object Oriented design and programming
- Framework building / designing
- Automation knowledge
- Tips and tricks of the selected tool ( selenium, ranorex, watir, etc )
And not only these. If you are for example put on a project that uses perl as automation ( Test::Harness ) then what you need to do is become a perl expert. Use perl at home, play with it, learn it, build stuff with it out of your work at home. Join the discussion groups, read forums, read news of what's going on with the perl language. Be on top, or be dead.
So the best advice i can give you is that for an automation expert testing methodologies are not that important. They are useful of course and you should follow some major sites only to know what the latest hype is, BUT. Technical skills are much more important. And i speak out of experience. When i was getting a job as automation expert they didn't ask me ONE question what i know about testing... All questions were about technical stuff and knowhow.