I remember reading that statement a few years back and getting so worried because I was a manual tester. Why was I worried and I believe to understand this I need to tell the back story.
Moving from business into technology with no “formal training” aka a degree and a number of people never letting me forget, that makes for a serious lack of confidence. I don’t regard myself as a technical person even to this very day but in comparison to other testers & business analysis people I’m very technical.
Here’s the deal with me I don’t want to spend my days writing automation scripts that just isn’t my thing but, I love the idea of doing anything faster because I am super impatient. I like to work on setting up frameworks for automation and ensuring this will run properly across the systems or writing SQL queries to get my data fast from the DB. Using grep to sort out what I need from my outputs on the command-line. Finding new tools that make my life easier and the best of all git. How did people do this BG (before Git) thank goodness I live in the AG (after Git) era.
Testing a website or app from the UI/UX level requires skill and a certain amount of technical flare which you can read about that in the following Changing Mindset Series. Being a “manual tester” is not just that, its so much more. This tester becomes the SME around the systems and understands the integration issue (if any… ok we all know that’s an ideal state). They understand their customers well and can assist with production issues. They know the ‘as is’ and the ‘to be’ states of the platforms they work on, which makes them ideal to chat to the users especially when an exciting change is in the test pipeline.
PS: The quote marks around “manual tester” was me literally doing the finger quotes in the air sign sardonically, each time I wrote this.