I am an automation engineer(industrial, building, home). What options do I have in software side?

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Just to survive in automation engineer it is not necessary. But I have seen automation engineers who switched to product R&D side. Product R&D involves software engineering, hardware engineering, mechanical engineering, QA/testing in respective areas, system testing, DevOps etc. After this, it also involves product certification and product marketing.

If you are in early phase (less than 2-3 years), aiming for software developer role has good chance. If you are more than 5 years, it is better to go  for testing roles since it needs domain knowledge also. After 10 years, it is better to shoot for management roles.  In all of these roles, having software technologies exposure is very much a plus.

Any of the following is useful to do:

Embedded development: These days it is possible learn even embedded at home, thanks to online courses, videos and numerous kinds of forums and help.

Application servers (alarm monitoring server) and Configuration/Calibration tools:

This could be developed in C#.Net or Java. Courses

These days in testing, there is lot of focus for automation. Doing automation involves software-only, or software-programmable hardware (relays or high end options). One common thing is scripting language like python.

Python online course

Doing one of these and staying focused on the path will help to switch jobs.

 

Further, there are interesting options like AI which has lot of work in data collection. As domain folks, automation engineers have some advantage. To tap the opportunity, it is necessary to go through the initial pain of knowing these technologies. Only then you would realize the benefits.

Further if testing is preferred (most comfortable way, but competition also could be high) then the following could help you to move towards it. As mentioned, for automation folks testing is the most natural thing. When someone comes with both domain and also test automation tool knowledge, then it is interesting. It is easy to be open. Otherwise it is hard even to call for interview.

Software Testing Automation using Selenium

I can not emphasize enough the benefit of pursuing such courses. Many times I directly reject resume which shows just list of roles and timelines. When I do not see anything done by candidate which shows some extra energy or willingness to try out new things, I too become cautious. If candidate has never shown any ability to stretch, I would not either, as recruiter.

 

If you still want to know more background about the choices in learning programming languages, check this

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