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Test Automation: Transitioning to JavaScript and TypeScript

Adopting Agile, continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) is not an option anymore; it’s a demand. Tech companies that want to succeed have to deliver high-quality software fast. Сan manual software testing keep up with the pace? Unfortunately, no. Test automation is one of the critical aspects that can help enterprises speed up their release cycles on top of improving software quality.

But not all approaches to test automation bring the same results and ROI to your project. If you’re thinking about transitioning your test automation to JavaScript or TypeScript, keep reading to learn some essential tips that will make the transition painless.

Test Automation Understanding the Basics

General approach

Let’s split the general term “automation testing” in:

  • mobile applications automation
  • web applications automation
  • desktop applications automation
  • test automation of API

the approaches to testing in all of them differ, but the basic automation process remains the same: writing a script that will trigger actions according to a prescribed test scenario. This increases the quality of the product for users that act according to this scenario.

When we talk about web applications test automation, everything comes down to opening a browser and running a test script in it. If you stick to the CI practices, it’s common to run a test script in the headless mode, without the graphical user interface. Automation is Nothing Without Tools

You can’t perform automated testing without the necessary tools, so choose them wisely. It’s always challenging and risky to change one framework for another or even switch to a different programming language. Each language has its syntax, the process of error handling, and the program execution. But not impossible. Here are our tips for transitioning to JavaScript or TypeScript.

JavaScript

The first pitfall on the way to JavaScript transition is language’s dynamic type. For people who used to code in strictly typed languages, it will be a bit surprising how those run-time values get their type or change it.

One more feature to highlight is JavaScript functions. Contrary to other languages, in JavaScript, functions are used instead of methods. Also, there are anonymous functions (nameless) and arrow functions (lambdas).

The third critical note is that JavaScript has function-scope variables – declared as var and block-scope variables – declared as let or const.

And the last things to remember when switching to JavaScript are its event loop execution and Promise objects that represent the eventual completion of an operation and its end-value.

Though it might seem rather complicated or strange at first, there are lots of useful open resources that can help you master JavaScript:

  • Learn JavaScript. A source for studying JavaScript for students of all levels translated into four languages. In some cases, the content may seem a bit obsolete (it uses examples and tasks in ECMAScript 4-5, while ECMAScript 9 has already been operating since June 2018), but it still lets you a get solid knowledge base of JavaScript.
  • GitHub’s You Don’t Know JavaScript. This resource contains ebooks that describe JavaScript’s non-standard solutions and interesting approaches as well as introduces their analysis.
  • JavaScript. And, of course, you can’t go without the language documentation itself.

TypeScript

TypeScript is a part of the JavaScript ecosystem. This language is a typed version of JavaScript that compiles to it for further execution and helps build clean code with static typing, classes, interfaces, and real-time IDE support.

Static types help prevent bugs from slipping into the code base due to human error and provide clear documentation that allows you to understand and maintain legacy code quickly. With TypeScript, you can use static checking and code refactoring tools to develop robust applications.

Take a look at the following sources to get started with TypeScript:

  • TypeScript. Not only can you find the necessary documentation here, but you can even choose the necessary tools for a quick start.
  • GitHub TypeScript. This source combines everything you wanted to know about TypeScript.

Test Automation Choosing a Framework

As for automation frameworks that write test on JavaScript and TypeScript, consider using Testcafe. It lets you benefit from the advantages of strongly-typed languages such as coding assistance, painless scalability, and check-as-you-type code verification. The main advantages of this framework are its speed and convenience. Plus, you can find all the necessary documentation on their website if you hesitate which test method to choose or don’t even know where to start.

The main difference with other frameworks is that Testcafe’s locators work exclusively with CSS selectors. Among the disadvantages, however, you’ll encounter some problems with checking for object presence and visibility as well as for the prompt execution of specific actions. The last issue can be solved by placing the “waits” in the appropriate places. Another inconvenience is the debugger in the Visual Studio Code, but getting used to it might be just a matter of time.

Test Automation The Dream Team

Right tech stack

The last tip is a non-technical one, which doesn’t make it less important.
Usually, organizations keep changing tools, while the problem lies in teams and their skill-sets. When your organization is staffed with seasoned professionals, though, your projects have more chances to succeed.
Analytical thinking, adapting to various kinds of technologies quickly, and the ability to choose the right tech stack to solve project challenges are what makes programmers and testers great. Your automation engineers have to succeed in supporting scripting languages. Also, they have to scale tests efficiently, while the developers have to quickly implement testing into the development process, conducting tests within various IDEs.

If you have the right people on board, test automation shouldn’t be a problem for you. But if you don’t, Skelia’s TestLab will gladly help you out. If you still hesitate about which language or framework to choose, you can always contact us to get this ball rolling.

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