In today’s highly competitive world, software development and automation play a significant role in creating robust software applications for businesses. Additionally, emerging technologies like Artificial intelligence, blockchain have given a competitive edge to enterprises. For gaining maximum benefits out of Automation testing, testers require hands-on experience in a minimum of one Automation Programming language. There are numerous programming languages available today, with new ones continuously emerging. No matter which phase you are in, whether starting with automation testing or being an experienced tester planning to learn a new programming language, deciding which language to choose is very critical.
Which Automation Programming Language is the best for testing?
The following list is prepared after considering metrics, like recent trends, language popularity, career prospects, open-source projects, etc. As per TIOBE Index 2021 and IEEE Spectrum Magazine, Java, C, and Python are the top three automation programming languages on the list. Following are the most preferred ones out of the long list of names.
- It follows the shift-left testing approach where even developers play an active part in the testing code development process. Here, the testing team works closely with the development team to implement efficient test automation.
As per the statistics, it is the most popular automation programming language of 2021. It is open-source and has a track record for developing web & desktop applications, machine learning, network servers, media tools, etc. For any business that is just starting up, Python is the most recommended programming language. It provides library support, reliable integration, and control features. Some of the popular apps built using Python are Youtube, Pinterest, and Instagram. According to recent trends, approximately 2.3 Lakh Live websites (6 Lacs globally and 3.1K in India ) are built using Python.
Stack Overflow’s latest developer survey reports that around 70% of developers chose Python as their most preferred programming language because:
- Python has a several libraries that help developers perform any function without putting many efforts in writing the code
- It has a strong Python Community
- It is object-oriented
- Python is comparatively portable and easy to learn automation programming language, making it the best choice for the beginners
- Selenium-Appium Libraries for Python make automation and cross-browser testing on mobile and desktop easier. The most popular Python Testing Frameworks are PyTest and PyUnit used in Selenium Automation Testing for Cross-Browser Automation Testing.
It is among the popular general-purpose automation programming languages owned by Oracle Corporation. Applitools Survey reports JAVA to maintain its lead with 43% of its users opting for Java as their go-to language for writing their tests. Enterprises use Java to maintain back-end systems. More than 3 Billion devices are running applications built on Java. It comes with comprehensive test frameworks, packages, and knowledge sources making it one of the best automation programming languages. Netflix, Google, Pinterest, Instagram are a few big names that use JAVA.
- It provides its users with built-in open-source libraries, a powerful command line, easy integration, IDE Support, etc.
- It is an Object-Oriented Language that works on Write Once Run Anywhere principle, bringing flexibility in many cross-browser platforms.
- Allows easy integration of JUnit with Selenium Webdriver to automate tests for web applications.
- It also provides short test cases to the software developers.
C# is created by Microsoft. It is considered one of the best automation programming languages. 67% of the users, as reported by Stack Overflow Developer Survey, prefer C# for their development and automation needs. This language has shown a gradual growing trend as a test automation language. There are many test automation frameworks in C# like NUnit, MSTest, and xUnit.Net support automation and cross-browser testing. Also, many testers prefer C# due to its compatibility with Selenium WebDriver. Companies like Delivery Hero, Microsoft, and Accenture include C# in their tech stack.
- It is an Object-Oriented and structured programming language
- It is mostly used on Windows. Also suited for Android, iOS platforms
- C-Sharp is a Microsoft company that works on .Net Framework
- Uses Page-Object Model (POM) to create efficient and maintainable test code.
Hypertext Preprocessor is a widely used command-line, a server-side scripting language used for web development and test automation. Most commonly used for mobile applications that require database access. More than 34 Lac live websites use PHP as their preferred Automation Programming Language. Popular organizations like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Yahoo use PHP for their website. PHP supports the development of e-commerce websites, content-heavy and dynamic web and mobile apps. The most common PHP testing frameworks are BeHat, Codeception, Laravel Dusk, PHPUnit, offering extraordinary benefits in the automation process. XDebug, an extension of PHP, is a powerful debugging tool that improves the PHP development experience.
- PHP is flexible and easily linkable with HTML /HTML5
- Provides great error handling features
- It is a platform-independent language
- Good Community Support System.
Another popular Automation programming language is Ruby which has shown an upward trend in the areas of automation. Ruby has seen a growing community of user bases in recent years. Ruby works well with the Selenium framework, hence considered an important component for performing Selenium automation testing. Getting started with Ruby-Selenium is easy as it creates a comfortable environment for running your first cross-browser test with Selenium Webdriver using lesser lines of code. Popular websites using Ruby are Twitter, Bloomberg, Airbnb, and Shopify.
- It is an Object-Oriented and back-end scripting programming language
- It is a human-friendly, simple-to-learn language supporting MVC Architecture and enabling automated deployment
It is an open-source Automation programming language that creates the fastest automation tests. SmashTest allows expediting the test execution by writing tests in a tree-like structure. It generates tests ten times faster than any other programming language. However, its documentation process is not that great. SmashTest can perform both API and UI Testing. It comes with a test runner to enable parallel testing and a read–eval–print loop (REPL). It requires downloading the Selenium WebDriver. Its mocking API allows mocking time and geo-location. The Smashtest CLI (Command-Line Interface) consists of tools for CI/CD and REPL interpreter.
- Helps to test distinct browsers, devices, and operating systems
- Provides in-built, real-time reports showing the auto-generated screenshots pass/fail status of the test.
- Super-fast automation
- Allows to run multiple tests parallely
- It is easy to understand, has human-readable steps.
VBScript is a programming language developed by Microsoft. It is the lighter version of Visual Basic so, both use similar syntax. It is used in Quick Test Professional (QTP), an automated functional testing tool for coding and executing automated tests. If a tester wants to work on QTP, he must know VBScript.
- Easy to learn with little knowledge of basic programming skills
- It is case insensitive language
- VBScripts is an interpreter and not a compiler (like C++, Java, etc.). It is sometimes also called a line-by-line compiler.
The data above explains the recent best Automation programming Languages for test automation that have a larger user base. However, the trends keep changing with time. Apart from the above-mentioned languages, many other growing programming languages can be considered while making a choice. The choice of programming languages differs from organization to organization and depends on the preference of the testers. May you learn any programming language to make your testing ability stronger, but the main aim is to automate the test completely, detect and report errors in advance, without human intervention, and be able to create reusable tests. It should ensure that the end product proves to be the strength of the enterprise instead of a weakness. All of the programming languages for test automation using Selenium are compatible with pCloudy’s online Selenium Grid comprising thousands of real browsers & operating systems.