Selenium 10 Years

Selenium 10 Years


In the field of testing technologies, it isn’t very often that we see a tool survive and grow richer in over a decade. Just recently, Selenium completed 10 years, and this article takes a look at the ecosystem that Selenium has nurtured.

Agile and Selenium

The agile manifesto has been around longer than Selenium, and more teams are looking towards the agile form of software development to reduce their feedback cycles and practice continuous delivery. One of the practices that teams need to do well when working the agile way, is test automation.

Test automation may seem easy — but in order for it to be truly effective, the team needs to have a lot of discipline in defining their process, choosing the right tools and technologies to give that quick feedback by running various types of tests (smoke, regression, etc.), and also allow the test automation to evolve and scale.


That said, even today, completing test automation in the same iteration along with development is a huge challenge for most teams. These challenges get aggravated and more apparent when test automation uses tools and technologies that are difficult to keep in sync with the rapidly changing product.

It was 2004 when Jason Huggins, while testing an internal application at ThoughtWorks, created a JavaScriptTestRunner that changed the way automating the browser (browser-based-testing) is done. This then evolved into “Selenium” which was subsequently made open source.


Where is Selenium today?

Selenium has evolved and adapted to the changing test environment, and here’s a quick glance at where it currently stands in the industry:

  • Today, it is extremely rare to find someone involved in browser-based testing who does not know about, or has not heard of, Selenium
  • There are many other frameworks implemented in various languages that build on Selenium and offer more capabilities for test automation
  • There are various innovative companies that have built products on top of Selenium to offer more value to its clients – e. SauceLabs, BrowserStack, etc.
  • Service organizations across the world have the top layer of management talking and selling Selenium-based offerings to prospective clients
  • There are numerous organizations that have sprouted over the years, selling Selenium-automation-based testing services
  • Selenium is one of the top-searched skill-set in job profiles (related to test automation)

What’s the roadmap for an agile tester?

The future of testing is very bright. We have a plethora of devices and technology advancements happening every minute. It can seem scary (and for good reason, too), to those who are not on the path of learning and adopting what science and technology holds for us.

Here are some thoughts of what you can do to get on that path:

  • The role of QA has become much more complex and requires a mindset shift as well as technical disciplines
  • Get involved and contribute towards product architecture – this will help understand what needs to be tested, what needs to be automated at which layer of the test pyramid, and why
  • Understand that test automation is a form of development. Get proficient at developer-practices, and apply your testing-hat to become great at test automation
  • While websites had become the challenge to tackle 10 years ago, QAs must now understand how to automate testing for not only websites, but also mobile and interactive applications
  • Behavior-Driven Testing (BDT) is one of the ways you can identify and build a good regression suite to avoid getting into the anti-patterns mentioned above