If nothing else, the past year has produced some fantastic articles on test automation. Selenium WebDriver is exceptionally versatile and supports multiple programming languages, including Java, Ruby, and .Net. It also works with multiple browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. As we wrap up 2020, let’s take a look back at the best automation posts of the year.

1) Design Patterns in Test Automation

This highly informative, tutorial-style Test Project article takes the number one spot for articles on building a Test Automation Framework. By starting with the basics, the article gives an overview of Selenium WebDriver. It details its role in using running tests to control the browser using automation APIs. It also answers the fundamental question: why is a Test Automation Framework so important? The more tests you want to do, the less likely a standard one-size-fits-all approach will work. This scenario calls for a more structured and tailored approach, where the importance of implementing design patterns comes in. 

With these basics in mind, the article moves on to providing guidance on developing criteria to aid with tool selection. Once you have a list of criteria established, you’re ready to move on to the design patterns. The most commonly used design patterns for building a test automation framework are listed and link to external pages with more detailed information. As if this wasn’t detailed enough, the article also covers page objects, which keep code structured and allow tests to be implemented with ease. 

To conclude, a very detailed example of Test Automation Framework architecture is provided. It includes a business-layer page-object pattern, folder structure, and test method code. Plenty of helpful examples, in multiple programming languages are provided throughout the entire post. So if you get a little lost along the way the examples will get you back on track. 

TestProject makes it pretty easy to do web and mobile automation with a single download. Sign up for your Free TestProject Forever Account here. Interested in learning more about TestProject SDK Java? We offer a free tutorial.

2) 7 Enhanced Browser Automation Tricks You Need to Know

As part of an extensive testing framework series, Automate The Planet authored this nifty article on enhanced browser automation tricks. Like the Test Project post, this article emphasizes the importance of understanding the automation framework’s context. Seven browser features are explained to help the reader on their way: 

  • Automating login dialogs. You need to add only three components through Testing Framework: a username and password, a using statement, and a LogonDialog instance.  
  • Intercepting HTPP requests using the HTTP proxy. Using either code or direct configuration, UseHttpProxy must be set to true. This trick also involves the creation and eventual removal of a response listener. 
  • Using the ActiveBrowser property. Use this property to go back and forth, as well as refresh a page. It also works well in conjunction with the PageTitle property. 
  • Working with Cookies. Includes setting, getting, deleting, and purging all Cookies. 
  • Implementing ScrollToVisible. This property will allow either top or bottom of page placement. 
  • Creating multiple browser instances. How to start new and different types of browsers and how to access each instance. 
  • Downloading files with Testing Framework. Instant downloading becomes a possibility with only a few configurations to settings. 

Check out the article for detailed instructions for each feature and other articles within their Testing Framework series. 

3) 11 Top Open-Source API Testing Tools: What Your Team Needs To Know

Tech Beacon’s article on 11 different API testing tools is informative and to the point. The article opens by emphasizing the importance of API testing as a microservices approach to developing software becomes more popular. Adopting API testing can be difficult, as most organizations have separate testing and developing teams. However, AI and machine learning have made API testing less complicated, making it an essential skill for the future. The 11 API testing tools that Tech Beacon suggests are:

  • REST-Assured is the natural choice for Java. It also works perfectly with the Serenity automation framework. 
  • Postman allows you to code in a different language than the developers have used. 
  • Postwoman is customizable, can be run online – making it accessible from anywhere in the world, and can be used on any platform. 
  • SoapUI is explicitly meant for API testing. 
  • JMeter is perfect for both API functional tests as well as performance tests. 
  • Karate supports both API testing and UI test automation. Because it doesn’t require Java knowledge, it’s the perfect choice for automation beginners. 
  • Fiddler fits perfectly for .NET language users and offers multiple extensions. 
  • Citrus Framework is very flexible, so you can use it to test many different applications. 
  • PowerShell works excellent with Microsoft products. 
  • Insomnia has a wide range of features and is intuitive to use. 
  • Taurus: allows you to write the tests in YAML.

Check out the article to read detailed descriptions of each and find out which is the best tool for your organization’s needs. 

4) 10 Testing Scenarios You Should Never Automate with Selenium

In contrast to the above articles that highlight test automation steps you should be taking, this additional article by Tech Beacon takes a different approach by specifying testing scenarios that should not be automated using Selenium WebDriver. While the list is not exhaustive, the ten examples given include:

  • CAPTCHA differentiates humans from computers, so it actively prevents automation. 
  • Visual testing needs a specific tool.
  • Two-factor authentication is not secure and challenging to do with WebDriver.
  • File downloads don’t express user-web interaction. 
  • HTTP response codes do not indicate test failure with automated testing. 
  • Gmail, email, and Facebook logins are both slow and unreliable to test. 
  • Performance testing is not optimized; therefore, it compromises the validity of results. 
  • Link spidering takes too much time with WebDriver. 
  • Video streaming is often unrecognizable through automation. 
  • It’s better to manually test Crash recovery .

In addition to explaining why each of the above fails or performs poorly with test automation, the author provides alternatives and workarounds.

Develop your test automation skills

A test automation course is the best, most informative option for those who want to become experts in developing automated solutions. Though not a replacement, these great articles (and plenty of others!) offer detailed examples and troubleshooting advice that complement coursework well. Beginners, intermediates, and experts alike will benefit from the tips and tricks outlined in these articles.