Introducing the Web UI Test Automation Playground

August 7th, 2018 by inflectra

We have all seen slick demos of automated testing tools and frameworks. They show how you can quickly automate a nice, well constructed login page. The test records easily, the playback is seamless and it all looks so easy and painless. Then you purchase the tool and when it makes first contact with a real application, it looks as seamless as a Rube Goldberg machine!

Why Is The Reality So Different?

When I just started doing Web UI test automation I was surprised that such simple things as emulating a mouse click and simulating text input could be flaky or would not work at all. Internet resources were telling me that UI test automation was easy, that my tests could be 100% codeless and that everything should just work after a test recording. It was actually true for Login Page examples but it did not work for any real-life testing scenarios.

I started digging into the dirt and quickly discovered that there are many more pitfalls than I had originally thought. There are frame borders to cross, there are hidden DOM layers, dynamic attribute values and the asynchronous loading of data. So there are many reasons why a test may not work, not only after a quick recording but even after crafting it by hand.

What Can We Do About It?

Then I realized that I am not alone. A lot of testers struggle with UI test automation, especially newbies from the manual testing world. Can we do anything about that?

Novice testers either deal with overly simple  Login Page examples, where everything works without a doubt, or they are thrown into a battle with a complex real-life application and quickly loose the fight as they are not sufficiently prepared. There is no intermediate training camp where rookies have an opportunity to improve and sharpen their skills..... till now!

Introducing The UI Testing Playground!

So, we at Inflectra created the to help newcomers develop UI test automation capacities and better learn how to use test automation tools. On this website you will find artificial examples that emulate some of the problems of real-life test automation projects. We also put the sources of the website to a GitHub repository, and are hoping that you can help collaborate with us:

I hope that the will serve as a useful training base and will ease the transition from manual to automated testing. Contact us at with your questions and feedback!

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