Review: Selenium testing tools cookbook

Where I’m coming from

I’ve worked with web UI-testing for about 2 years. First with Selenium 1 in .Net and then later with selenium 2 in ruby using capybara/cucumber.

The book

Selenium testing tools cookbook is a great book for anyone getting started with UI-testing. It focuses on how to get things up and running and provides a lot of concrete examples in a way that you’d expect of a cookbook. You get a solid walkthrough in all the different ways you can locate elements and extend selenium that I wish I’d had access to when I started with UI-testing. Even though much of the content was already known to me there were little nuggets I didn’t know about in almost every chapter (“Wait, you can right click an element in firebug and get a css/xpath selector… /facepalm”). The book also contains recipes for things I’ve thought of doing such as testing on mobile browsers and recording video of the test sessions.

Since Selenium is available for many different platforms it’s great that many of the examples are shown in both java, .net, python and ruby. It can be somewhat frustrating googling and finding an example in java only to discover that the API looks different (or is simply not there) in “your” language. This makes the book longer but since it’s only to skip the chapters with languages that feels irrelevant at the moment it’s not that big of a deal.

My only objection with the book is that the chapter on data driven testing felt slightly out of place since it focused more on how various test frameworks handles data driven tests than selenium itself.

It’s kind of hard to review a book of this practical nature in an abstract way that doesn’t spoil all the content. But it has inspired me and there are a few blog ideas brewing in my head as a result. All in all this book is a very welcome addition to the world of UI-testing!

  • sumit kher

    I am comparatively new to selenium and played a little with selenium IDE, and trying to do with selenium rc. I am baffled to use the scripting language there. Can you tell me what is the most used language in selenium across industries? And also I came across this course os selenium automated web browser testing is this good? If someone does in Java and he joins a company where everyone does in ruby, then it’ll be a pain to learn ruby again. And also it would be great if you address any comparison about the available languages like (perl, python, ruby, java etc.) or tell me any other guidance would really appreciate help and also i would like to thank for all the information you are providing.