Practice using Selenium Now!

Have you ever wanted to learn a little bit about Selenium WebDriver but didn’t know where to start?

Turns out there are some good tips / tutorials online for practicing writing Selenium in Ruby. One of those is a newsletter called Elemental Selenium that has something like 70 tips. You can sign up for the newsletter if you want but what I found valuable was to look at several of these tips, write them out (don’t copy + paste) and make sure you understand what they do. Turns out when you do this and you commit them to a repo, you can reference back to them when you come across similar problems in the future.

Simply stated [highlight]the goal is to:[/highlight]

  1. Read through the Elemental Selenium tips and then write (don’t copy + paste) the code yourself.
  2. Try running the tests locally and see how things work.
  3. Once you’ve written a few tests, refactor those example tests so they become more DRY (don’t repeat yourself). Create page objects.
  4. Commit these to your own repo on GitHub.

Putting your code on GitHub will have the benefit of showing you can write (at least) basic selenium automation. Although this code may not be your “best foot forward” given how new you’ll be, it is a starting point. As you learn more and make improvements, your code will reflect this.

These tips are (hopefully) grouped correctly but within each group there may be some variance. See if you can do one or two per day (some will be easier than others). If you see something interesting and want to jump to it immediately, go for it.

Beginning to Intermediate:

Intermediate to Advanced:

I’ve recommend a few people try this exercise because I found it valuable. Am I missing anything else? Has anyone else done something similar but in a different language or tool?

2016 In Review

It’s a new year which means it’s time to look back at the previous year. Although this isn’t a lessons-learned or a progress report, these reviews are like a snapshot in time, forever preserved in writing. Unlike the past years I had no specific writing goals for 2016. I knew my attention would be focused elsewhere and yet I still managed to write 13 posts, bringing this site’s total to 108!

Popular posts don’t mean much but they are an interesting barometer of what others have found valuable.

You can find previous years here: 2015

Most popular posts of 2016, written in 2016:

The most interesting and/or valuable for me differed a little bit from this list. I enjoyed writing the Selenium GuideBook review and was something I had wanted to do for a while. Writing the post on Debugging Selenium Code was great because I don’t use an IDE when developing Ruby scripts, I kept forgetting the steps, couldn’t quickly Google and so found it immensely valuable to write it down (and eventually share). Selecting Platform Configuration Tests didn’t come out as great as I had envisioned it. However writing it forced me to deal with a combinatorial problem (device or configuration explosion) and then try to systematically make a choice about what I was going to test (sampling). It was fun and I keep thinking of other ways to apply it.

The Future

It’s 2017 so technically I mean the short-term future (including the present). I started a new job at a startup called Laurel & Wolf which means all kinds of fun changes and challenges (hopefully I will write about a few of them). I have yet to take the State of Testing 2017 but will be doing so shortly, so don’t you forget to sign up!

There are a number of testing topics I have been slowly tackling and unlike 2016 which seems to have been dominated mostly by tooling challenges, I plan to write about non-tooling topics. I haven’t yet sent out the first email to the amazing people on my email list but that will happen soon! 2017 is the year! If you haven’t already, join the email list!