Test automation has undergone a radical change in the last decade. From the days of record and play to the current days of keyword driven, data driven, behaviour driven, page object based modular automation frameworks, testers have seen the full spectrum and scale of test automation. In this overall mix, an important experience has also been the tools they we have been using. It was in this last decade, that the industry saw a major shift from commercial to open source test automation tools and Selenium has certainly been on top of the list. Several test automation frameworks have embraced Selenium as their tool of choice for functional test automation. Selenium’s support extends across a range of browsers and platforms, and has almost become a de-facto tool in web application browser based automation.
However, what is exciting to see in recent times is that a suite of test cases traditionally automated using Selenium for functional testing are being leveraged for several other uses. For example, we recently had our testers demonstrate the use of a security testing tool that integrates with selenium test automation framework. Similarly, another demonstrated how these tests can be used for accessibility testing. Such new uses that functional tests are being put to, serve a lot of areas unleashing a new potential for Selenium. This includes – test case re-use, reduction in testing time and effort, increased test coverage and more importantly exposing testers to newer test areas beyond their core comfort areas. Attributes such as security, usability, and accessibility are becoming increasingly important in the non-functional test bucket. Such extensible uses of Selenium, now make it increasingly possible for functional testers to explore new test areas. This is a win:win for everyone involved, including the core non-functional testers, who can now focus on some in-depth areas, given that everyone on the test teams are becoming familiar with an initial round of such new test areas.