Are you a beginner in test automation? This article will help you to choose the programming language for building your project’s test automation framework. Of course, there are several more dimensions other than those that will be mentioned in this regard. However, I have listed those points that will help you make the quickest decisions. To get started, in each of the sections, at least two programming languages have been mentioned as examples. Of course, once you actually choose and get started in the programming language of your choice, it doesn’t end there. In order to become a successful automation developer, you’ll need to keep a consistent check on new trends and new features offered in the various programming languages. 

How to Choose the Programming Language for Test Automation

So, let’s get started. Here are some questions that you should ask yourself when deciding which programming language to choose:

Are you new to code development?

If you are a newbie in code development, you may choose a programming language which is easy to learn and would require you to learn simple syntax. In that case, you can select among languages like Ruby, PHP, Python, or VBScript which are relatively easy to understand and implement.

Also, as per research by StackOverflow, when researching new tools, most developers prefer those that offer a free trial. Hence, along with the choice of programming language, your next decision would be choosing among several automation tools. Test automation tools like TestProject.io offer lifetime free usage. Tools like Microfocus UFT help VBSCRIPT, and that product is currently offering a one month free trial.

Also, look for tools that support multiple programming languages. For example, the TestProject tool’s SDK has a Java, C# (.NET) and Python associated.

Are you looking for a programming language that already has useful inbuilt libraries/testing frameworks?

What can be better than having useful inbuilt libraries and testing frameworks available with the programming languages? Relying on these frameworks helps you save time, as you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to implement certain features. It would be a good idea to choose those programming languages which offer this support. Some examples are as follows:

These days Web applications are being launched in several browsers. Hence, the test automation associated with such applications also will need to support cross-browser testing. Selenium, Appium libraries for Python help make the job of automation easy, and even promotes cross-browser testing on desktop and mobile devices. Similarly, thanks to the availability of a range of test frameworks, many developers are considering C# for the development of test cases related to cross-browser testing.

In the case of Ruby, we have the inbuilt Minitest testing tool that provides a complete suite of testing facilities. It even exists in Ruby’s standard library. Selenium framework also works with Ruby language – which is also used for automation testing with Selenium. Building cross-browser test automation with Selenium WebDriver & Ruby can be done with few lines of code.

PyUnit, Pytest are popular Python testing frameworks that are used for Selenium automation testing to perform automated cross-browser testing

Javascript has inbuilt test automation frameworks – Jest, Mocha, Jasmine, Nightwatch JS, which are also useful.

Do you intend to use the most popular programming language?

You may prefer to choose the most popular languages so that you are sure to get help from a broader community. In this regard, as per StackOverflow, JavaScript is the most used programming language. Languages like Python and Java follow on this list. JavaScript tied with Selenium can be used for browser testing. Since JavaScript supports frameworks for unit testing and E2E (End-to-End) testing, it is used much more than any other programming language. JavaScript has inbuilt test automation frameworks.

Does your project have an already funded procured Automation test tool?

Well, there are times when the project has an already funded tool. Since the project has already spent money on the licenses of the tool, you may be asked to use that tool itself. In those cases, you will need to use the programming language associated with that automation tool. For example, Rational Functional Tester and Eclipse Integration use the Java language.

Are you a fan of open-source programming languages?

Open source basically offers source code which is available free of charge to the public. It is for use or for modification from its original design. These are significant advantages to any automation team. In such cases, you may choose languages like Java, PHP, Python etc.

Are you testing UI or Non-UI? Mobile Devices?

Most of the developers use Selenium WebDriver for Web UI testing. Selenium can be used with Java, Python etc. Hence, it will be an added benefit if you learn the language. In the case of HP UFT, you will have to learn VBScript. If you are planning test automation on aspects like web services testing, file operations, data type tests, most people find Python to be the right choice.

In the case of mobile app testing, Java has been a healthy choice in this regard if paired with Appium. Ruby has easy Cucumber integration for BDD testing. Also, in case you are using REST-Assured, which is a Java Library, you would use Java.

What if you don’t want to code and still build Automation?

All the above suggestions will be helpful for you to decide the programming language to use for your test automation. But what if you don’t want to code at all? Have no fear! We even have code-free automation to the rescue in many test automation tools. For example, TestProject offers the ScreenRecorder, which records the user action movements as per the designated test; and once played, it runs the test script by mimicking the actions recorded.

Wrap Up

There have been rapid advancements in the field of Test Automation, and it continues. As I mentioned earlier, along with the programming language, it is a good idea to see which automation tools support that language. Also, great programming languages coupled up with great automation tools make the developers job much more convenient than before, thanks to many of these tools incorporating the AI technologies within them.

It is our responsibility to be well-informed regarding the trends in the test automation field, and the associated programming languages. Be open to learning anything new, and you will grow into a successful automation developer. Also, having knowledge of multiple programming languages will help you in the long run too. Keep learning and keep updating your skills!

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