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Himanshu Sheth
Himanshu Seth is an engineer with 15+ years of experience. He has worked with multi-national companies as well as startups. He is also an avid blogger on technology.

Top 7 Programming Languages For Test Automation In 2020

So you are at the beginning of 2020 and probably have committed a new year resolution as a tester to leap into automation testing. However, to automate your test scripts you need to get your hands dirty on a programming language and that is where you are stuck! Or you are already proficient in automation testing through a single programming language and are thinking about venturing into new programming languages for test automation, along with their respective frameworks. You are bound to be confused about picking your next milestone. After all, there are numerous programming languages to choose from.

Now, you may be looking for guidance to help you out with your test automation journey or your new chapter in the test automation diaries. Well, lucky for you, you landed in the right place! In this article, I am going to highlight the top 7 programming languages to look out for test automation in 2020.

1. Python

Python is an open-source programming language for test automation, machine learning, and more. The latest version of Python is 3.8.1. The major advantage that Python has over other programming languages for test automation is the easy to learn curve due to the readability of the language.

As per Stack Overflow Developer Survey (2019), a whopping 73.1% voted for Python as the most wanted programming language indicating the popularity of the Python language.

Below are some of the primary reasons regarding the popularity of Python:

  • There are a number of libraries for Python programming language and these libraries ease the job of the developer as they help in performing actions without writing much code.
  • Python is much more portable when compared to other programming languages.
  • The syntax of Python is easy to learn which makes it an ideal programming language even for beginners.
  • Strong presence of Python Community.

Selenium and Appium libraries for Python ease the job of automation testing and cross browser testing on desktop and mobile devices. PyUnit and Pytest are the most popular test automation frameworks in Python that are used for Selenium automation testing to perform automated cross browser testing.

2. Java

Java is a general-purpose programming language that is owned by the Oracle Corporation. Java is built on the principles of object-oriented programming. The language follows the WORA (Write Once, Run Anywhere) principle which brings a lot of cross-platform benefits.

Many large corporations use Java to maintain their back-end systems. There are more than 3 billion devices that are running applications built using Java. Though JUnit is a popular unit testing framework, a number of open-source automation testing frameworks have been developed using Java. Automated browser testing for a web product (website/web application) can be performed using JUnit with Selenium WebDriver.

Selenium Java Tutorial: Automation Testing Of User Signup Form

3. JavaScript

As per Stack Overflow Developer Survey (2019), JavaScript attained the top spot in the ‘Programming, Scripting, and Markup Languages’ section in ‘Most Popular Technologies’ category.

JavaScript is also a great programming language for test automation that is predominantly used for front-end development. Many large consumer websites use JavaScript for front-end development and it is equally popular for automation testing.

One of the primary reasons for its dominance in test automation could be because of wider adoption of shift-left testing methodologies where developers are also involved in test code development. In shift-left methodology, QA team works in close collaboration with the development team to come up with efficient test automation implementation.

Developers also prefer to use JavaScript along with Selenium for test scenarios related to automated browser testing. It can also be used with remote Selenium Grid like LambdaTest without major changes in the source code.
Availability of a wide range of testing frameworks for unit testing and E2E (End-to-End) testing makes JavaScript a preferred programming language for test automation. Some of the top JavaScript test automation frameworks are:

  • Jest
  • Mocha
  • Jasmine
  • Nightwatch

Mocha JavaScript Tutorial With Examples For Selenium Testing

4. C#

Created by Microsoft, C# is also trending as a programming language for test automation. It is designed on the concepts of object-oriented programming. It is one of the most popular languages using the .NET framework. 67% of the respondents in the Stack Overflow Developer Survey (2019) consider C# to be the most loved programming language for test automation, web development, and more. C# as a programming language for test automation is well-suited for applications that are based on Android, Windows, and iOS platforms. The latest version of C# is 8.0.

This programming language is slowly and steadily gaining momentum in the area of test automation. Due to powerful features of the language and its compatibility with Selenium WebDriver, many automation testers are inclined to use C# for automation testing and cross browser testing. Using the Page Object Model (POM) design pattern, testers can come up with efficient & maintainable test code.

There are a number of automation testing frameworks in C# that aid in Selenium automation testing or automated browser testing. Due to the availability of a wide range of test frameworks, many developers are considering C# for the development of test cases related to cross browser testing. Below are the most commonly used test automation frameworks in C#:

  • NUnit
  • MSTest
  • xUnit.Net

NUnit Test Automation Using Selenium C# (with Example)

5. Ruby

Ruby is another programming language for test automation that is gaining momentum in the arena of test automation and automated browser testing. It is open-source in nature and is focused on simplicity & productivity. Like Python, Ruby is also easy to learn and implement. Human-friendly syntax and flexible object-oriented architecture make Ruby a powerful programming language.

Another interesting aspect is Ruby is the support of the growing community of Ruby users who are considered to be the most important strengths of the language. It is slowly becoming a preferred programming language for the creation of web applications. Developers can build useful applications with Ruby using much lesser lines of code.

Selenium framework also works with Ruby language hence it can be used for Selenium automation testing. Getting started with Ruby and Selenium is not challenging and you can execute the first cross browser test with Selenium WebDriver & Ruby with very lines of code.

There are a number of test automation frameworks in Ruby that help in cross browser testing. Below are the most popular testing frameworks in Ruby:

  • Capybara
  • RSpec
  • Test::Unit

Run Your First Ruby Automation Scripts On A Selenium Grid

6. PHP

PHP is a server-side scripting language used for web development. However, it is also well utilized as a programming language for test automation. If you are getting started with programming, you should definitely have a go at PHP. The difficulty level of PHP is low when compared to other backend programming languages like Python and Java.

PHP has good community support and a growing ecosystem. It offers XDebug, a powerful debugging and profiling tool that has powerful capabilities. It has support for a good number of test automation frameworks like:

  • Laravel Dusk
  • Codeception
  • PHPUnit
  • BeHat

Run Your First PHP Automation Scripts On Selenium Grid

7. SmashTest

SmashTest is a programming language for test automation that makes use of NodeJS. It is an open-source tool and language that enables the rapid generation of tests. The language is 10x faster but the documentation on SmashTest is not that great. When I was working on automation testing with SmashTest, I had to literally run from pillar to post for test case development.

Once I had a knack of the language, test automation with SmashTest was like a joyride. The language is easy to understand, has human-readable steps, and powerful reporting features that make it an ideal language to learn if you want to dabble with test automation.

Bottom Line

That was all for now. I am sure you must have your mindset on which programming language for test automation in 2020 you want to learn next. The languages that we listed so far are the most preferred languages for automation testing as they have support for a good number of automation testing frameworks and a large user community. You can start your automation testing adventure with any of these programming languages. So what will be your pick? Do let me know if I missed out on your favorite programming language for test automation. Happy testing!

Published on Java Code Geeks with permission by Himanshu Sheth, partner at our JCG program. See the original article here: Top 7 Programming Languages For Test Automation In 2020

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Hitesh Desai
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redandwhite

Java and C# are the best programming languages for automation. Selenium with java or C# is most popular.