Javascript Landscape for Testers

Introduction – Javascript

There’s a lot to know in order to understand what’s going on with the javascript landscape for Quality Engineering testers, especially for those involved in writing browser automation.  One of the biggest complaints recently is literally not knowing where to start, what the dozens of acronyms and terms mean and also what to study and in what logical order to study it.

There is also getting your head around the current use of Object Oriented javascript.  When I first used javascript it was all about making simple web page effects.  Now it is a very popular web language with Object Oriented functionality, used for building full fledged internet applications and used server side with technologies like Node.

Understanding a brief history of javascript is helpful to understanding how to use javascript today and what it means to write javascript tests:

What Object Oriented means in todays javascript is explained well in the following book.  I’ve read many javascript books and as someone with existing knowledge in both Scripting and Object Oriented languages, this is definitely the book that’s been most helpful to me:

Another interesting aspect of Javascript Testing is that that are elements for all 4 of the Agile Testing Quadrants – Unit, Integrated, Performance and Exploratory.

Part I – User acceptance / Integrated testing with Selenium

For BDD there is:

  • Cucumber –
    Using the Given, When, Then Gherkin format

For user acceptance testing there is web page testing with Selenium using javascript, e.g.

For TDD/BDD in Ruby there is:

  • rspec with capybara
  • watir (pronounced “water”)

There is also javascript based Selenium testing for javascript frameworks such as AngularJS:

There is also ‘headless’ browser testing which attempts to address the speed issue of any browser based testing by not actual bringing up a browser window.  Its success will depend on the specifics for a given web site / application.

Part II – Javascript Unit Testing

Then there is the testing of actual javascript itself.  This is primarily about unit testing javascript code.  Here we have two broad areas, one is Node based and one is not.  Node is about server side javascript.  You have a ‘node’ server running that responds to requests.  You can build and use frameworks such as Angular and React and you can also use server side javascript that is compiled into regular javascript which is then sent to browser clients.

As you advance in javascript testing you’ll also want to get a good understanding about spies, mocks and stubs:

As you advance further you may find it useful to understand and use chai – an assertation library for all those ‘should’, ‘expect’ and ‘assert’ statements!


Part III – Performance and Load Testing

Apache Bench
is a (node based) option here.

ab is a tool for benchmarking your Apache Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) server. It is designed to give you an impression of how your current Apache installation performs. This especially shows you how many requests per second your Apache installation is capable of serving.”


Part IV – Exploratory Testing

You can explore, debug and test javascript by using the browser Console tab to interact with the browser and issue commands

Screenshot from 2017-06-01 07-58-25

You can also use Node at the terminal command line by simply typing node or nodejs

Screenshot from 2017-06-01 07-59-32

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