Is Selenium a fit for your web test needs?
Updated September 14, 2020

Is Selenium a fit for your web test needs?

Isaiah Hayes | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Selenium

For us, Selenium is used solely by the QA department. Since a large majority of our projects include web design, we particularly use selenium for the assurance of our monotonous tasks. However monotonous they may be, as a vital part of our product - they need to be tested! Selenium helps facilitate the autonomous test cycles, and concurrently frees the hands of our department to handle much more engaging tasks.

Additionally, all companies (especially those in the field of marketing) face time constraints. As a lead currently managing a handful of very important projects, time is imperative; how can we maximize our time on things like stability, functionality, and engagement, while spending less human energy on small tasks like content and grammar checks? Well, if the application is web based - Selenium is one answer.
  • Simple record and playback UI. Many programs boast interfaces that appear confusing upon open. However, Selenium creators have implemented a simple UI which makes it not only easy to use, but easy to learn.
  • Support for various languages. As a Java native program, it's safe to say that it would be considered outdated by our upcoming generation of developers. Yet, it also supports Python, Ruby, Pearl, PHP, and more.
  • Unfortunately, there's no way to run tests with playback on a single monitor. For those who simply do not have additional screens on-hand, Selenium is impossible to use. Those who do have multiple monitors may choose to use 1 monitor for any specified reason, therefore making Selenium a non-option.
  • As a program designed to function within Firefox, users tend to experience technical issues with opposing browsers. Although Selenium has been improved over the years, it still has not mastered cross-browser compatibility.
  • Selenium was used to facilitate the automation tests of a 100,000 dollar project, and release our QA staff to handle more pertinent matters of that project, and others.
  • Selenium is free. So, whatever use any company has for it will surely have a positive ROI - time included.
  • Sikuli
Sikuli is a GUI automation program that offers an alternative for web based (and any other engine) programs. Sikuli's native language is Python. However, users can customize the software with add-ons similar to Selenium add-ons. These add-ons extend the use of Sikuli to languages such as Java, JavaScript, many C based languages, etc.
Web applications are well suited by the use of Selenium. For example, many of our creations are web based, which make selenium a viable option for our automation needs. However, a prodigious size of our products are created from a proprietary engine. This being said, selenium is not an option for the majority of our products.

This forces us to find other suitable automation software for more than 2/3 of our products.

Evaluating Selenium and Competitors

Yes - During my time as a QA Lead for one of my previous employers, we adopted the Selenium software as a replacement for Sikuli X.

This transition was made in an attempt to solve a stability issue continually experienced, unfortunately. Sikuli X is a great product when GUI testing is necessary. However, we decided to take a stricter code-based approach to eliminate the inherent difficulties of a GUI approach, and Selenium provided a solution to our difficulties.
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
As most of our QA personnel were unfamiliar with code-based testing, we wanted a product that was versatile without a steep learning curve, while simultaneously addressing the test instabilities we were experiencing at the time.

Selenium allowed us to code in different languages, therefore making our Python testers feel just as comfortable as our Java and JavaScript testers.
I wouldn't change my evaluation and selection process. Organizations require different tools based on their needs, resources, and more. For my previous employer, their resources and needs pointed to Selenium as their best option as the company attempted to transition fairly quickly without a wide scale training or retraining effort.