Automation: Where To Begin?

Disclaimer: Most of what is mentioned in this article pertains to the use of Selenium WebDriver. Although some of the material may relate to other automation tools, no other automation framework or tool was considered when this article was written. The Selenium WebDriver API has been an up-trending framework with a very active community and volumes of online support. With that in mind, the following is written with that understanding.

As with other challenges in life, learning Selenium WebDriver is no different. At minimum, it requires patience, perseverance and practice. Much like a new mountain climber scaling the side of a difficult mountain. We shouldn’t expect this climber, who is new to mountain climbing, to have the skills or experience to scale Mount Everest successfully on a first attempt. Similarly, we should not expect a manual tester, new to automation, to produce a masterful automation framework on a first attempt. But with determination and motivation, you’re one step closer to reaching your pinnacle.

To begin your journey in learning Selenium WebDriver automation, you should really have some basic understanding of the the following concepts and tools. As you dive deeper into each subject matter, things will start to “click” and your mountain peak will begin to look closer than when you started.

Familiarization with the following tools, URLs,  and utilities will further polish and expand your understanding and knowledge in automation:

  • – Get an account and get involved. One of the best resources for answers to questions on Selenium WebDriver or any other technology for that matter.
  • – They are a fairly well known outfit with plenty of experience in automation. A handful of their blog posts have some value worth reading.
  • Appium – There is no escaping some type of automated mobile testing so why not learn about it with one of the more popular frameworks currently available.


In summary, here’s the bottom line:

  1. Become familiar with Selenium WebDriver.
    • No one is asking for you to be an expert, but read up on the more common functions like identifying web elements, taking screenshots, and instantiating web browsers. Get comfortable with the WebDriver API.
  2. Learn to code!
    • I’ll repeat it again, learn to code! Listen, software development is in a different place right now. The programming knowledge gap between a developer and tester is closing. I’m not the one saying that, our industry is changing the rules of the game.
  3. Apply what you’ve learned.
    • Practice and improve what you’ve learned by implementing an automation framework using WebDriver’s PageFactory.
  4. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals.
    • Whether it be physical and virtual, get involved in discussion groups and related forums like Reddit. Join a LinkedIn group or perhaps a local interest group that can offer a forum to improve.