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2 minute read - Test Automation

Selenium IDE Tactical or Strategic?

Dec 28, 2018

Selenium IDE has been getting some press recently since AppliTools are resurrecting it.

There is a pretty good write up on Joe Colantonio’s site

This includes an interview with Dave Haeffner, who is working on the IDE, and a couple of videos from Joe.

I used to be very against record and playback type tools.

But I now use the notion of:

  • Tactical Automating
  • Strategic Automating

IDEs like this, fit easily into a tactical space.

  • I want to get something done quickly
  • I don’t want to maintain it
  • I don’t have time to learn the technology properly
  • I’m going to throw this away
  • I’m going to use this to learn the basics

I imagine that the IDE will incorporate more strategic elements like CI which will make me nervous if I see people doing that, but this is a natural side-effect of people wanting to make their tools as flexible as possible.

For strategic work, I’m going to expect to see more abstractions to make the code maintainable and less affected by system change.

Hopefully the IDE will help people improve their testing process and harness tooling where appropriate.

There is always the danger of tactical work starting to become strategic, but if we are aware of a distinction between automating tactically and strategically then I’m sure people will be able to use these tools responsibly.

I’m looking forward to trying out the IDE soon to see how it can support automating in a tactical fashion.