Innovation is all about making a task more efficient and reducing the time to accomplish it. The same goes for testing. Automation testing has already made a tester’s task a lot easier. Of course, keeping aside the initial learning curve, the benefits of test automation are immense.
While we’re on the subject of diving more into automation, it’s important to pick the right programming languages. As a tester, you are probably familiar with one or many languages as it is. However, the technical world is all about progressing and learning new things.
Speaking of which, when it comes to getting your hands dirty, there isn’t any shortage of programming languages to learn. The tricky task is to take the best pick when it comes to choosing the best programming languages for automation testing. While 2020 might have been a year of gloominess, let’s kickstart 2021 with a passion to learn.
On that note, here, we’re going to list the top 7 programming languages for test automation in 2021. But before that, we are going to take a look at two more things. First, why the knowledge of programming languages is vital for test automation. Second, how can you choose programming languages for test automation? Let’s begin.
Is The Knowledge of Programming Languages Important in Test Automation?
The biggest myth about getting into automation is that testers can rely on learning a tool or two and that’s it! While that might be true to some extent, learning relevant programming languages is as important as gaining deeper knowledge about automation tools.
Creating automatable tests make it imperative to have an insight into the code for testers. After all, the agile process comprises testers and programmers working together for writing tests. So, if you are breaking into the automated testing universe, knowing some useful programming languages that serve the purpose can be extremely beneficial.
How To Choose Programming Languages for Test Automation
Before we dive into what languages are the most appropriate for automation, let’s check out some evaluation criteria. A good test automation language should have a low learning curve, high development speed, ability to handle rote tasks, and should be somewhat high level.
Team members should easily be able to translate test case procedures into code. Clarity and self-documentation of code are also essential for ease of maintenance. Other features to look for in programming languages for test automation include a powerful command line, simple build integration, industry adoption, and IDE support.
Top 7 Programming Languages for Test Automation in 2021
Python is a functional and object-oriented programming language widely in use for test automation. Python’s stateless functions facilitate the prevention of side effects. Moreover, the relatively simpler syntax enhances their readability. Programmers can easily assert whether classes or functions are appropriate for their current task.
Developers don’t need to write new codes from scratch for each task, thanks to Python’s massive libraries. The syntax is easy which makes the programming language perfect for beginners.
Python test automation frameworks include UnitTest /PyUnit and pytest. They are used for Selenium test automation for performing cross-browser testing. If you are a manual software tester transitioning into test automation, it’s noteworthy that python has a not-so-steep learning curve.
Java has been serving the IT sector for decades, thanks to the Oracle Corporation. Most companies are adopting Java because of the stability of codes. A stack allocation system and open source libraries make Java beneficial for testers. Blend it with Selenium WebDriver and you can easily boost the efficiency of automated testing. It also provides short test cases, thus, further assisting testers and developers.
Java offers plenty of cross-platform benefits as it follows the principle of write once and run anywhere. Additional features such as simple build integration, powerful command line, and IDE support make Java perfect for test automation.
The brainchild of Microsoft, C# is a widely preferred programming language for test automation. Based on the concept of object-oriented programming, C# uses .NET as its framework. You can easily test applications running on Android, iOS, or windows with the help of this language. The page object model design pattern helps in writing a sustainable and efficient test code.
Integration of C# with Selenium WebDriver makes it a prominent choice for automation testing. Besides that, C# also makes the analysis and comparison of the performance and behavior of a website in various browser environments a breeze. Some common test automation frameworks include MSTest, NUnit, and xUnit.Net.
Adding to to the list of beginner-friendly programming languages PHP has been making its way through the test automation arena. While its primary usage lies in the field of web development as a server-side scripting language, PHP’s support for various test automation frameworks sets it apart from many other simple programming languages. Some of those frameworks include Codeception, Laravel Dusk, BeHat, and PHPUnit.
Testers use Condeception for functional testing, unit testing, and acceptance testing of web applications. Its high speed of execution makes it one of the most widely used PHP frameworks. Some of the major uses of PHP in the testing field include end-to-end testing, unit testing, and test-driven as well as behavior-driven development.
While the popularity of Ruby might not be as skyrocketing as that of our top three picks, the easy learning curve makes it a big time saver. So, newbies to test automation can avail the benefits of this array-based language. In case you are dealing with a short turnaround, Ruby can help up by facilitating faster writing of test automation scripts.
Productivity and simplicity are the two pillars on which this open-source programming language rests. Flaunting enhanced flexibility with its object-oriented architecture, it offers a friendly syntax which lowers the learning curve. Developers don’t need massive lines of code for building useful applications using Ruby.
Thanks to its support for the Selenium framework, Ruby is widely used for Selenium test automation. All you need is a handful of lines of code and you can easily execute a cross-browser test with Ruby and Selenium WebDriver. Some of the common test frameworks include Test::Unit, RSpec, and Capybara.
SmashTest is open source in nature and uses node.js. If we overlook the compromised documentation, it does enable quick test generation. My point is, learning this language can be challenging. But once you get the hang of it, test automation using SmashTest would be a cakewalk. Having human-friendly steps and boasting simplicity with impeccable reporting features makes it one of the best programming languages for test automation.
Now that you know the top 7 programming languages for test automation in 2021, it’s time to realize that the ultimate choice depends on a lot of factors. For instance, you might want to opt for the language in which the development team is developing the product features. Tooling and support are some other parameters for choosing the ideal programming language.
The languages we mentioned above highlight the most popular and solution-oriented options most companies have been successfully using. The ultimate goal is to speed up test runs and increase the efficiency of the entire process. Remember, when you are out there making a top choice, sometimes, making no decision can be the worst decision.
So, go ahead, pick one, and move forward. Even if you don’t end up making the ideal choice on the first go, you will learn something before you eventually take the right pick. On a different note, have you picked ‘the one’ from this list? Did I miss out on any of your personal favorite test automation programming languages? Shoot in the comment below.