Top 5 traps of test automation

This article by me was originally published on TheServerSide.

There’s a common phrase in testing: if you do something more than once – automate it. Software testing, where we routinely perform similar actions, is a perfect base for automation. In modern software development, with the use of microservices and continuous deployment approach, we want to deliver features fast and often. Therefore, test automation becomes even more important, yet still facing some common problems. Based on my experience, here is my list of top 5 mistakes that teams make in acceptance test automation.


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Selenium Grid with Docker: custom nodes

In my last post I wrote about creating Selenium Grid with use of Docker. I’ve received some questions about customising node’s containers – by default, Docker containers for Selenium Grid nodes run only one instance of browser per node. It’s important to understand that running Grid on Docker is slightly different approach than running it alone – instead of building huge Grid with multiple nodes and dozens of browsers, you run few smaller, independent machines. If one machine is down – you throw it away and build another one. Great use case of Selenium Grid with Docker is to build Grid’s machines as a self service for teams in your company, or to build it automatically before automated tests trigger, and destroy it after.

Nevertheless, it is possible to tweak default node’s conteiners, so they would contain more browser instances. In this post we’ll create container with custom Selenium Grid’s node configuration – our container would provide more than one instance of browser. Remember, that if you have an account on Docker Hub, you can host one container for free, so after going through this tutorial you can commit your own container and host it, or just create your own, custom Grid on Docker, tailored to your needs.


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Selenium Grid with Docker

Selenium webdriver on it’s own, or with it’s implementation, like Geb is arguably the most popular solution for testing web-based applications. Besides all it’s greatness, it has some flaws. Selenium tests are slow, and it’s cost of maintenance is big. The answer for the first issue is distributed testing with Selenium Grid, which I described previously.

From the DevOps perspective though, setting Selenium Grid configuration like that is highly over-expensive and non-scalable. The answer for this can be Docker with it’s docker-compose tool. In this post we will try to create vm provisioned by docker-compose and set up scale Selenium Grid. All of this will be run with one command.


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Selenium: Design Patterns

In a previous article I described a set of best practices for designing automated tests. So as I said, in this post I would like to expand our toolbox of two design patterns, that work great with selenium tests. In this post we will dig into Page Object pattern and combine it with Page Factory. As always, whole code for project is available on my github.


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Test Automation: Good, Bad and Ugly

The modern approach to software quality and software development life cycle requires that business guys, developers and testers understand that the long manual test phase, although often still necessary, must be reduced to a minimum and replaced by test automation. Working in continuous delivery and continuous integration environment requires us to create automated tests that run on demand, checking our application integration and it’s core functionality correctness. However, there are still many problems with designing and writing automated tests, resulting in their costly maintenance or abandonment in favor of a return to manual processes.


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Selenium Grid

Selenium WebDriver is a great and powerful tool when it comes to web test automation. The pros would be appreciated by everybody who test web based applications. However, along with the enlargement of our test base, there are some limitations, and use of single WebDriver implementation on the local machine becomes insufficient. The answer to this problem can be Selenium Grid tool, which distribute tests execution to remote machines.

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