5 Best Ways to Learn Selenium and Become a Testing Expert
Selenium is widely accepted as one of the most efficient test automation tools. Many companies and teams use this open-source testing framework to ensure software quality and increase testing productivity. Thanks to these benefits, having Selenium skills is a good advantage as a software tester or developer. When we learn a new topic, it can be hard to know where to start and have methodologies. This article provides five best ways to learn Selenium and introduces great sources for learning.
What is Selenium?
Selenium is an open-source testing framework for web applications. It allows users to record and playback testing scenarios across different web browsers. Although many people use it for testing, it does not limit users from using it only for that purpose. Since you can repeat your actions on the web, you can utilize it to run repetitive simple tasks. Selenium has three main products - Selenium WebDriver, Selenium IDE, and Selenium Grid.
If you want to quickly write scripts to run test cases or to make certain interactions on a web browser, Selenium IDE is the tool you can start with. It is a light-weight and easy tool that can be installed on your web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, and Edge as a plugin. It can record and playback your interactions with your browser.
With Selenium WebDriver you can create a wide range of automated tests and run regression testing by writing testing scripts and distributing to many environments. WebDriver can interact with a local or remote web browser natively. Selenium WebDriver is for more advanced use cases than Selenium IDE.
Selenium Grid can let users run tests across different machines and environments in parallel, which can boost test efficiency and save time.
With this suite of the software, you can gain the following benefits:
- You can run tests across different browsers and environments.
- Depending on your use case, you may not have to learn a programming language and you can simply use Selenium IDE.
- It is open-source, so it does not cost you for the license.
- It is easy to learn since the software has good UI support.
- Thanks to popularity, you can have good community support and documents.
- You can run parallel testing and it saves your time.
These broad benefits make the tools universally acceptable by various users including QA testers, software developers, data engineers, and those who simply want to replicate their web interactions for productivity.
5 Best Ways to Learn Selenium
To access these benefits, we need to learn Selenium. This section shares five best ways to learn the testing framework.
1. Start with Online Education Websites
Sometimes, people just jump in and start using a software without going through guided lectures. This lets you quickly start the task you have at hand. However, in the long-run, it can reduce your productivity since you might be using the software incorrectly. The best way to learn Selenium is by taking guided lectures. As we take guided courses, we can gain knowledge taught by experts and we can take a sequential approach in learning, from basic to advanced topics. Thanks to a large interest from people, it is not difficult to find courses on online learning websites. There are good learning platforms you want to check.
Established in 2012 by Stanford University, Coursea is one of the largest online learning platforms in the world. It was started by a computer science professor. Because of the background, it has an ample amount of courses related to software. By specifically searching “Selenium”, you can find many courses that teach you everything from testing methodologies to Selenium scripting and Xpath.
Udemy is also a massive online course provider founded in 2010 in the US. As of June 2021, Udemy has more than 183,000 courses with 44 million registered users and 65,000 instructors. In Udemy, you can learn everything from programming to art drawing. Of course, you can also learn Selenium. There are so many free and paid courses. Due to the large number of courses, you may want to sort them by most reviewed to find popular courses.
Previously Lynda, LinkedIn Learning provides over 17,000 professional courses as of October 2021. The platform also has Selenium courses but unlike Coursera and Udemy, each course consists of one long video.
Knowing these three websites will be more than enough. They constantly update their learning materials and you can learn up-to-date skills. Also, while you are learning, reading through BlazeMeter’s Selenium blog can be a good practice to follow the latest trend and a great source for learning Selenium as it provides comprehensive learning contents.
2. Explore the Official Selenium Website
When you finish a course, the concept of Selenium and ways to use it should be firmly established. The intention of visiting the Selenium website is not to re-learn about the software but to download Selenium and try, build reference links, and check worst practices.
For building reference links, it is a good practice to bookmark useful links in your web browser and frequently visit those links. For example, this locating elements page gives you a list of functions. It is hard to memorize all these, so as you bookmark useful pages, you can know exactly where to find and get your answer.
3. Get Your Hands Dirty
One of the best ways of learning is actually trying. You can start with a simple, mini project. Exploring your favorite website can be a good way as well. There, you can set an aim such as automatically visiting a certain menu or searching for certain contents. When you finish your project, don’t waste it and source-control it using Git. As you carry out more and harder projects, it will become a nice portfolio. Plus, just as a research, it can be helpful to visit freelancer websites to check which Selenium projects are frequently sought after by real clients.
4. Start Working with Industries
You have finished learning via online courses, collected reference links, and done your own projects. Actually working at a company or with a client can enhance your skills to a next level, let you experience team environment in testing, and, of course, earn financial reward. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to check online freelancer websites. For example, on Upwork, there were 329 job postings wanting a QA engineer when we searched Selenium jobs. If you want to use Selenium professionally, this industry experience can be your ultimate goal.
5. Stack Overflow
Finally, whether you work on your project or work for a client, you will surely face problems. When you google your issues, it will naturally guide you to Stack Overflow. The website is a question and answer platform that should be visited if you are a software developer or tester. When you experience a problem, it is likely that the problem was seen by other people. On Stack Overflow, people share their problems and get answers. It is certainly not the place to start when you learn something new. However, as you actually test and use your skills, this can be your most frequent information source.
In this article, we learned about Selenium and the five best ways to learn Selenium. The testing framework has a large ecosystem within itself, so learning without principles can lead to incorrect implementation of testing tasks and scarce Selenium knowledge that blocks you from utilizing it properly. Starting with a guided course, you can establish firm knowledge and build your own reference materials. Learning without doing is the best way to forget your skill. Plan small projects first and build your portfolio. Then, consider having professional experience by actually working with a client.
This way, you can be a Selenium expert. If you need help for your journey, check BlazeMeter. The BlazeMeter blog shares ample knowledge about automatic and continuous testing. It also provides a powerful testing platform for users to save time and cost and to maintain their testing environments easily. To find out more, start a free trial today.