Evening all,


Need some help.


I have had a little experience with test automation as I have mainly been manually testing or working with offshore teams that have been building the the tests and running them then reporting back the results to me which are then presented to the client. 


What I want to do is expand my limited knowledge of automation testing by learning a particular tool which will then give me more options for contracts in the future and ultimately more money (which is always nice)


So what in your opinions are 


The most commonly used tool

Good courses that are worth going on/books to read


I would be welcome to become somebodies student if they are willing to teach me.



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You could try starting with one of the free tools such as Selenium - check out this discussion for a good book on the subject ( I read it and can recommend it )

Selenium is a great tool to get playing with - although it's a bit of a "record and replay" kind of tool.


There are many great reasons to get into automation testing, and some pretty bad ones too.


The bad ones tend to be "everyone else is doing it" or "it'll be cheaper".


Automated testing requires a lot of effort up front for testing.  It requires your test object to be fairly mature with screen designs not expected to change much.  It takes more effort to write an automated test script, humans running a manual script can be adaptive, computers wont.


But the advantage comes if you have to run the same script again & again & again.  If you think you're honestly going to be running a script 6+ times, this is a candidate for automation.  Computers like testers with Aspergers are incredibly literal, and will pick up on things humans will miss.  Honestly when I run that manual script the 6th time in a month I can be a bit "yeah yeah yeah".


I'm an ex-programmer, so I find it not too difficult.  I'd suggest maybe looking into learning a bit of BASIC which some of the tools are based in.  The main thing that helps if having a structured approach to computer language/scripting.

if you only use selenium ide then it can be 'record and replay' but it can be a lot more than that


but that reminds me of another recommendation - Everyday Scripting with Ruby: for Teams, Testers, and You

Yeah - I did start looking at Ruby myself last year, really need to get my head around what it is.  Which is ironic cos I usually pick these things up really quickly.

Thankyou Gents for your your answers. I will be having a look at these links in shortness of time.


I have played with Selenium and iMacaros and a re pretty simple, but as the product I am working is currently changing a lot I show a fair amount of frustration. I am involved in a project that is more design lead rather development led, which means the devs are kept under lock and key as the changes and improvements they are able to do.



AFAIK Perl is no less common than "real tools".

But a better answer will depend on what are you actually testing, Selenium is not really useful for embedded systems.

I agree. The automated testing tools you get the most out of depends on what you will be testing to a certain extent. Having said that, Selenium seems to be a popular choice for testing web applications at the GUI level and has a good learning curve - you can start with the IDE, then gradually progress into writing code in one of the many languages Selenium can work with.


QTP is another extremely popular choice it seems, but if you are learning on your own time, the license restrictions could prevent you from doing so unless your company has already invested in the tool?

I had looked at QTP. I might just have to take the plunge and get myself on a course. It cant hurt at the end of the day.


Selenium os brilliant when the product you are testing, providing the application,site has stabilised and the devs have stop putting "quick fixes, hacks" to make things work.

I'm currently learning about Ruby in my spare time.


Before going into QTP it does help to get the hand of a bit of scripting, what they're about and what you can do with them.


On QTP I had to do a really awful set of video lessons with a lady we called "Poodle Haired Lady".


But QTP can be as much a victem of frequent style changes to your GUI - it uses something called a repository as a kind of style guide for your GUI and "what goes where"  I know a script automator who had to keep refreshing his cos of constant developer changes.

Note: I  have learned  ruby. I  like  it  but  I'm finding  for  Selenium that  Java is  more  useful because  it means  all the code  is   in Java  so easier  to hand  off to someone.

@Oliver Woods


Save your money and have a look at what is there for free online. QTP is really well known and there are loads of tutorials available if you look. You can also download an evaluation copy for free to practice.

You can learn RFT. Use the ITCL Framework (Google: ITCL Framework). You can also d/l & import the IBM package. It's quite easy to learn. You can also go through the util files in IBM Package.


Just go through the web page first & then start. It's plain & simple Eclipse IDE. Shouldn't be very difficult. Mail me in case you have any questions.


The only glitch could be the RFT license. You can probably d/l & learn during the free evaluation time.


Best of luck



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