After years of reading about Selenium I actually got sometime today to play with it in anger. I think I’ve been scared off automated GUI testing for quite a while after getting my hands stung when automated some GUI tests some years back, only for the front-end to have a complete revamp and nothing work (I think the principle being used at the time was pixel locations).

So after overcoming my fears, I needed to quickly see if I could generate some data for testing. We repeat this numerous times at work when nearing a release date and it becomes quite an arduous and time consuming process. The longest and hardest part of getting Selenium going was downloading the Firefox plugin and trying to figure out why it wasn’t running it automatically, before remembering I’ve recently switched to using Google Chrome as my default browser.

2 minutes later I had my first test script running and creating the data I was after, adding in the various tests along the way to indicate everything was going as expected.

Whilst this is fine, the bit I’m really looking forward to experimenting with the language export stuff to Selenium RC. This really will open some doors at work and hopefully really speed up some time consuming processes. I’m hoping we can take it a stage further by putting a GUI on the front to specify some of the values we’re interested in using.

So much like JMeter a few months ago, I really do need to start investigating more of these tools that I hear about from various day-to-day reading materials. They really will free up time in the long run.

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