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Selenium in real-world projects: Automated testing for web applications

This afternoon I gave a talk at BarcampLondon5 about how we are using the Selenium web test automation tool, amongst other things, for continuous integration/regression testing on the Bid for Wine project which I wrote about before.

Here are the slides from my presentation:

(View on SlideShare or download as PDF)

I had some very good conversations with several people after this presentation, amongst others Jonathan Melhuish who pointed out that about two years ago there was a start-up called Autoriginate, founded by Patrick Lightbody, which aimed to provide a hosted on-demand Selenium-based testing service called HostedQA. HostedQA does not appear to exist any more in its current form, and I only found a bit of information about Autoriginate and HostedQA in the Wayback Machine.

I’m not completely sure what happened to HostedQA, but the evidence suggests that Autoriginate was acquired by Gomez and became what is now their Reality Check XF product.

We use Selenium quite a bit now, and I know that it’s a bit of a hassle to set up so that it works neatly; so one might think that I should be attracted to buying their solution. I don’t mind paying for tools which make us more productive (we pay for Highrise and FogBugz, for example), but somehow Gomez looks very unappealing to me. At least part of that is because they don’t provide pricing information on their website, and don’t have a sign-up button. A while ago I was considering them and actually tried quite hard to find out more from them. They were not particularly responsive by email, and they made me speak to two of their people in a phone conference for 20 minutes before they would tell me how much they charged! Maybe that sort of sales strategy works when selling to large enterprises, but for small development houses like ourselves, the attractiveness is zero. Bizarre. Maybe their technology is fine (if they did acquire Patrick Lightbody’s work it may even be very good), but for me they are irrelevant because of their sales methods.