7 Best Selenium Test Automation Practices That Developers Should Follow

7 Best Selenium Test Automation Practices That Developers Should Follow

December 14, 2020 1 By mindmingles

Most developers at the beginning of their career start raising various complaints about automation testing. They mostly complain about its stability and reliability. It is often noticed that in most cases, the logic used behind the automation process is accurate; however, the website design is not perfect. Automation has massive importance in today’s world, and to take its 100% advantage, developers need to understand its implementation. Here are the seven best selenium test automation practices that developers should follow.

Developers who have been working in this industry for years now would agree that the one size fits all concept is not applicable when it comes to Selenium Test automation practices. Every website or application is different, and it is hence advised to come up with different automation plans. Each website has its design, and you cannot make one automation testing for all websites. Though there are no set boundaries or rules for Selenium testing, however, if you follow certain principles, your test will be hustle free and accurate. These principles are known as ‘Best Selenium Test Automation Practices.’

Here, we will be discussing some of the best Selenium automation testing practices that a developer should follow. These principles will ensure that you get a 100% accurate output from the automation testing.

Most of the rules or best practices shared here are programming language agnostic that is put to use for Selenium automation testing. Nonetheless, these practices are still applicable to whichever language that you use. 

Not Blocking Sleep Calls

Any web application’s behaviour widely depends on various external factors that include network speed, the device used, access location, and many others. These factors are different for each user, and each web application or web page reacts to all of these factors differently. Here, if a delay (or a timeout) is added before a particular action, it will decrease web application loading time while delaying the execution. 

Timeout achieved using blocking sleep, for instance, Java, time. Sleep in python lasts only for a couple of seconds. A single-threaded application will block only one thread effectively. Nonetheless, blocking sleep calls are instrumental when adding the required delay, but the duration depends on various uncontrollable factors. There is also no guarantee that the delay you are adding will work 100% all the time. For instance, if you have added a 5 seconds delay, your web element might take 10 seconds to load. 

When you look at the HTML of any website, you will find a test URL in most Pythons. When you add a 5 seconds sleep time in between, what if the web page elements are loaded within your preset time? When web elements take more duration to load, the test cycle increases and leading to stability issues. 

However, what is that better alternative to sleeping call blocking? Selenium can handle delays more effectively and offers better Explicit and Implicit wait time. When the elements are available before the delay, the execution then moves to the next code executive line. It makes the entire process smooth and provides a better user experience.

Appropriately Naming Test Suites And Cases

When working in a team, your team members might need to modify the test you have written. In most cases, your team members will need to review your test and enhance it if needed. Appropriately naming your tests is a crucial step that most developers often forget. When you don’t use a name for your tests, you will not be able to figure out the test’s purpose after a couple of months just by reading it. When you appropriately name a test, it becomes easier for your team members to find out the particular test item they are searching for.

Additionally, your test might also fail in the execution stage. You need to figure out the broken functionality. These issues can be easily fixed when you name a test according to its purpose or why it failed so that you can revisit the exact test you want to change in the future and then make changes. For developers working in teams, using a proper file naming convention helps make the entire process better. 

Setting The Maximum Browser Zoom Level

While performing a particular selenium test automation practices, you might notice that it is not performing correctly on a specific browser. It is noticed when you are using an outdated browser version for performing cross-browser testing. When you use Internet explorer for performing cross-browser testing, you are most likely to face this issue.

Irrespective of the web browser you are using for performing the selenium test automation practices, setting the browser zoom level to 100% is always a good practice. It is also a practice that all developers should start implementing. When you set up the maximum browser zoom, you get a native mouse feel; it also ensures that native mouse events are set up correctly coordinated.

Apart from this, it is always a better practice to use the Protected Mode settings for Internet Explorer. Make sure that the Protected Mode settings are the same for each zone; if not, you will end up receiving the NoSuchWindowException error.

Maximizing The Browser Window

Taking a web page screenshot is one of the very first actions that Selenium developers do when they start a new project. Screenshots are essential during the testing process to help developers understand the issues and make changes. It also helps stakeholders understand the product development process in detail. Apart from these necessary bits of help, screenshots also help developers understand whether the failure is due to the wrong application.

By default, Selenium will not open the browser window to its maximum. It would be best if you made the changes. It will affect the snippets of the entire project that developers attach with their reports. When you maximize the browser immediately after the test completion, the URL gets loaded to ensure that the screenshot captures every element on the web page.

Use the Best-suited Web Locator

One of the significant issues with Selenium automation testing is that you need to modify the changes from time to time, depending on the application. Name, XPath, DOM Locator, ID are some of the settings that keep changing from time to time. With so many web locators available, developers are always in a dilemma when selecting the right one for their application. It is essential to select a well-suited web locator to be smooth and effective in the entire automation testing process. 

When choosing the right web locator, the test impact caused due to changes made decreases, and the user interface becomes smooth. If you are a developer, you must have been in situations when XPath is the only option for you. However, XPath is different for each browser. Hence there is no guarantee that the Xpath of one browser will 100% work on others. Outdated browsers like Internet Explorer do not have a native XPath engine for web locating purposes. To solve this issue, developers use JavaScript Xpath Query Engine for finding elements. Developers need to be extremely careful while working with XPaths. These are very brittle, and introducing or changing existing XPath might lead to several errors. When XPath is the only option available, you should use Relative XPath instead of Absolute XPath.

When you use internationalized applications, using LinkText or partial link text can be difficult. The ideal web selector is id > Name >CSSSelector> XPath. 

Creating A Browser Compatibility Matrix For Cross Browser Automation Testing

Cross browser testing is a lengthy and challenging task since it involves testing different browser and operating system combinations. Also, each browser has different versions, which makes the entire process even more tiring. Listing all browsers and their versions and different operating systems is one of the prime tasks that developers need to execute before starting the actual testing. 

However, when you use the correct cross-browser automation testing software, the process becomes more manageable. LambdaTest is one such cross-browser automation testing product that focuses on making a developer’s life easy. It comes with a massive browser + OS combination. When you use LambdaTest, you need not worry about missing out on a particular browser + OS combination. It also comes with a list of all versions of each web browser.

Apart from this, the Browser Matrix is another vital step in the automation testing process. All information included in the Browser Matrix includes results after analyzing different geolocation and different other audience preferences.   

If you want to know about one of the most popular cross-browser software, LambdaTest is the one which most of the developers use. This product makes the entire automation testing process very smooth and helps developers get a clear understanding. 

Logging and Reporting Implementation

While conducting a particular test, it becomes challenging for a developer to locate the exact part where everything went wrong if it fails in the middle. However, when you implement logging and reporting, the process becomes easy. Logging can be your savior when you are working on a massive project that includes endless steps. It also helps developers get a better understanding of the codes that they are using. 

Error, warning, and critical are some of the popular log levels that developers use. Avoid using unnecessary logs since they only increase the testing time. It is essential that you understand each log item’s usage and then implement them to avoid unnecessary delays. 

Along with logging, reporting also comes in very handy for Selenium developers. It helps in determining if a particular test is a pass or fail. It also plays a vital role in noting project progress. Also, reports help in minimizing maintenance time. A selenium testing without reporting and logging defeats the sole purpose of using the Selenium framework. This is why Selenium plays an extremely crucial role in automation testing.

LambdaTest is one of such tools that can help you in these testing processes. To use their functionality and use hand-on, you can try LambdaTest for sure.

These are some of the practices that beginners and advanced level developers should implement in their projects. When you follow these practices, the entire process becomes very smooth and manageable for developers. Also, since automation testing and cross-browser testing are both trial and error processes, having a system that keeps track of progress is very important.