A few words about myself: I work as QA Automation Engineer and live in Moscow More than 3 years experience in tech
Hi, this is Artur Shaikhutdinov from Deutsche Bank here. For the last few years, I’ve been working as a Q&A automation engineer, thus gaining hands-on experience on automated testing tools of all shapes and sizes. In today’s evolving world of software development, automation testing tools have grown to become a cornerstone for delivering a powerful solution while providing an unrivaled quality-speed ratio. Among other things, the main goal of automation testing software has switched from targeting reduced testing times to higher test coverage and efficient use of test cases.
Although it’s impossible to crown an absolute winner among automation testing tools, I’ve collected the ace of aces among the most trending software testing automation tools and dumped them in a juicy ultimate guide. Enjoy!
Best Testing Automation Tools
Laying the ground for the majority of other software in the category, Selenium sits comfortably on top of my list. It is a publicly accessible and most popular automated testing project that develops a series of open-source software products including Selenium WebDriver, Selenium RC, Selenium Server, as well as Selenium Grid and Selenium IDE. In fact, it is a whole set of solutions that you can roll into one all-in-all software to manage various services.
For the past four years, it seems like Selenium has fallen behind in innovation, mostly because its team has been working on a major task of getting Selenium WebDriver the W3C standards in place and approved.
But I think in 2021, Selenium will be working on more innovative automation features in Selenium five. Thus, according to Simon Stewart, who is the former Selenium Project Lead, they were busy doing the specification and took their eye off the ball a little bit of how people were using it. So, there are surely going to be some interesting innovations coming in Selenium five. From my perspective, it can use some additional functionality like proper configuration on the Safari browser, since the upgraded version has welcomed some nice APIs.
Therefore, we should all be looking to Selenium making more automation leaps in the future. You would definitely want to get on board if you haven’t already tried this automation testing tool.
Among its major differentiators is also a simpler syntax than you get using straight Selenium, and in-built debugging commands, which are always a good choice for both QA and developers.
If you have more of developer-centric testing culture, Cypress is an open-source testing framework that you should check out in 2021. Unlike Selenium, Cypress runs the browser, which allows you to interact with your code, the network, the methods, and even the dumb updates in real-time.
Additionally, it has built-in retries, which come especially handy, since modern web applications are continually updating themselves and also become too unpredictable to automate at the time correctly.
Cypress mostly concentrates on having a really easy install with Cypress NPM. You could simply install a single command and get all the screenshots and videos by default and every Continuous Integration plugin on every platform. Therefore, the ease of use is one of the things that make up Cypress as well.
Overall, this automation testing tool doesn’t interrupt your flow in the development, hence it’s a sure shot for developer-centric organizations.
4. Selenium Base
If you are in team Python or just don’t want to have the overhead of programming everything yourself using Selenium Python bindings, you might want to give Selenium Base a shot. Also, it’s one of the quickest ways to get started with automation. Essentially, Selenium Base is a feature-rich Python-based Web application library. It is both Selenium, WebDriver, API Pittas and includes practical features like reports, charts, and visual testing.
In general, Selenium Base is a big time-saver, so it has high chances of becoming a staple in your arsenal.
5. Microsoft Playwright
This automation testing tool has recently welcomed some amazing solutions, like Testim, which is a free recorded tool that helps GUI functional tests that could be run as code on open source frameworks like Playwright.
This automation testing tool helps automate highly responsive behaviors of web applications which are primarily powered by handling asynchronous events. Its main goal also includes providing a single API to developers and testers to automate their web applications across today’s three major browser engines, including Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit.
Summing up, Microsoft Playwright is an amazing tool that you can use to do a lot of automation and a gamut of things behind the scenes as well.
Since its dawn, Karate has matured into a stable tool with unique functionality that is always adding to it. It started off mainly as an API testing tool, but they have ventured into UI testing as well. You can do things like API testing doubles, front-end testing, and API performance testing.
All of this is available in one framework to test and try to implement using a BDD Gherkin-like syntax. But unlike most BDD frameworks, after you write that BDD, you actually need to implement it in a step definition. So it takes some extra time to try to eliminate that by including everything you need within the BDD statement or the Gherkin statement itself.
Another perk is that this tool is very newbie-friendly since you don’t need any Java knowledge and it has an extremely easy-to-use user interface.
TestProject is an end-to-end test automation platform that enables developers to automate Web, API, and Mobile applications. It is a cloud-based community-powered tool built on top of Selenium and Appium, but it has added benefits of numerous other functions that you don’t have to build from scratch.
This AT tool acts as a wrapper over other technologies as well, and it uses the power of what its community has called addons. This project hosts a library of all add-ons that other people have developed, hence you can simply pull them down using your project as well.
TestProject’s dedicated community also translates into a lot of built-in functions available to you within the test project ecosystem. Moreover, this tool is getting constant updates, like AI functionality. Therefore, if you want to get a little more involved in AI or
kind of this codeless type, this is a great tool to pick up.
So far, we have only covered functional automation tools. But if you want to deliver quality software faster, you should be automating anything in the CI/CD pipeline. Regardless of whether it’s a security test, performance test, or infrastructure test, all these go under the automation testing tool category. My next pick falls into this group as well.
8. Chaos Monkey
You may have heard of chaos engineering. Serving as preventative medicine, it’s a disciplined approach to identifying failures before they become outages. The best approach to achieving chaos is to inject your system to see how it responds under stress. After that, you can identify and fix features or failures before they impact your customer or cause damage to your reputation due to the poor publicity of an outage you could receive because you didn’t test all these cases that could occur within your application.
This is when Chaos Monkey comes on stage. As a tool, you can use it to randomly terminate instances and production to ensure that engineers implement their services to be resilient and to inject this type of chaos and instances. This allows you to test these weird cases before your users get to do it themselves.
Another trend you’ve been probably seeing is the shift-left movement of trying to test things earlier in the software development lifecycle.
And because of that, we’ve seen a lot of these automation tools we’ve talked about earlier, plugging in earlier in our test lifecycle and CI/CD pipelines.
But one of the lagging tools are areas that have been behind and these are performance testing and security testing. The main reason for that is that as we shift things earlier in the software development lifecycle, developers need to get more involved
with all these other testing types of activity. So how can you lower the performance barrier to help get your developers involved in load and stress testing? Try K6.
K6 is a developer-centric load and performance testing tool. You can use it to describe performance-based user journeys or scenarios and have K6 run them for you. One of the main issues that can deter a team from adopting performance testing practices is that not many companies design their performance tools with developers in mind. It means that they don’t necessarily use the same languages as the developers.
K6 was designed to integrate seamlessly into developers’ CI/CD pipelines so they can use it from the command line. Therefore, developers can now use their programming languages for performance testing using K6.
So rather than waiting till the last minute to have some performance team take care of performance, you could start to get developers involved. And K6 is a gateway tool to help you achieve that. Check it out if you think you have developers that will benefit from it, or if you’re a test automation engineer that wants to get involved in performance testing.
In 2021, an increasing number of teams are picking up DevOps. It means that more Agile teams are going to be responsible for the reliability of their applications.
Today, teams are accountable not just for testing, but also for making sure the application is responsive. It’s resilient once it hits production, which undermines the standard formula — ‘forget about it once in production’. After it makes it into production, you have to fix it. And then based on that, you put it into your whole feedback loop. If your development suffers from the beginning, you take what you learn from the production and you build it in from the beginning. And it’s a continuous type of cycle, which stems from most teams lacking monitoring.
Last but not least goes Deepfactor. It is a continuous pre-production monitoring platform designed for developers. It also accounts for security testing, performance, and behavior visibility seamlessly integrated into your CI/CD pipelines so your engineering teams don’t just release their software at the speed of DevOps, but they could also release it fast with confidence. This is especially important in 2021, since not only are we trying to develop or deliver quality faster, but we also want to be able to do it fast with confidence and using tools like DeepFactor will help you achieve that.
The Bottom Line
Test automation is one of the most cost-efficient and streamlined ways to test software products with long maintenance cycles. And the mighty AT tools, in particular, help you reduce the feedback cycle and bring faster validation for development phases as well as to detect problems or bugs early during the development phase. All the tools mentioned above do not rank according to their numbers. On the contrary, every one of them can make it to your Q&A toolbox and cover your weak points on the way to a robust product.
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