Top 10 Most Popular Free Test Automation Courses of 2021

Getting Started — November 18, 2021

The days of not being able to find a high quality Test Automation course for free are in the past – in no small part, we’re proud to say, due to Test Automation University (TAU). Today you can find free courses on web, mobile, API, and codeless test automation frameworks. Courses cover tools like Selenium, Cypress and Jenkins, and languages like Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Swift and more – with new course releases every month.

TAU offers more than a dozen learning paths to guide you in your journey, and all courses are taught by leading testing experts.

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Top 10 Free Test Automation Courses Taken by Test Engineers

Tens of thousands of free courses have been completed at TAU this year by leading test engineers. Here are the top testing courses for 2021:

  1. Setting a Foundation for Successful Test Automation

    The Setting a Foundation for Successful Test Automation course, taught by Angie Jones, was the most popular course for 2020 and held that position through 2021 as well. As opposed to diving into code and automation tools, this course explores the initial considerations for starting a new test automation initiative and focuses on making sure you set up a culture for success. With the majority of test automation projects doomed for failure, this course is a much-needed resource to help change that. This course is highly recommended for anyone (managers, developers, testers, product owners) who will be involved in a test automation initiative.
  2. Web Element Locator Strategies

    The second most popular course of the 2021 was Andy Knight’s Web Element Locator Strategies course which has seen a jump from 4th place in 2020. This course gives a fantastic and in-depth overview of the Document Object Model (DOM) – detailing how to explore the HTML that makes up a web page to find reliable locators for test automation. Andy covers the primary locator strategies as well as provides a thorough look into CSS selectors and XPath.
  3. Java Programming

    Falling down 1 spot from 2020 is Angie Jones’ Java Programming course. This course is perfect for those who are new to programming and want to learn the language. The material is not specific to test automation, but instead teaches Java in general so that you become a true Java programmer and can use this skill for any related programming role, including an automation engineer. Students particularly love that this course is filled with lots of examples to demonstrate the concepts in practice, and even includes optional exercises for you to try your own!
  4. Introduction to JavaScript 🆕

    New to the top 10 list is Mark Thompson’s Introduction to JavaScript. This course debuted on Test Automation University in the Fall of 2020 and has certainly made a splash, rising up to the #4 spot of the year. With JavaScript automation tools commanding more and more of the market share, it’s no surprise that automation engineers are eager to pick up this skill.
  5. IntelliJ for Test Automation Engineers

    Corina Pip’s IntelliJ course climbs one spot in popularity this year. The course covers the various capabilities of IntelliJ and how to efficiently use this editor for Java test automation projects. Even experienced automators may learn a trick or two!
  6. Exploring Service APIs through Test Automation

    Appearing again on the top 10 list is Amber Race’s introduction to API testing course! Amber provides real-world techniques to tame your tangled and messy APIs. Learn about the P.O.I.S.E.D. testing heuristic which is a great approach to thorough test coverage of your API.
  7. Selenium WebDriver with Java

    The Selenium WebDriver course by Angie Jones remains in the top 10 but has taken a fall from the third most popular course of 2020. This free Selenium tutorial provides a very comprehensive guide on how to automate testing with WebDriver in Java, complete with optional independent exercises to allow you to practice what you’ve learned.
  8. Introduction to Cypress 🆕

    New to the top 10 list is the free Cypress tutorial taught by Gil Tayar. While not new to the Test Automation curriculum, this course has garnered quite a bit of interest lately as Cypress’ popularity has exploded.
  9. Cucumber with Java 🆕

    While Giridhar Rajkumar’s Cucumber with Java course was added last year, it gained a lot of popularity in 2021. This course is perfect for those who are practicing BDD and want to validate their specifications via automated testing.
  10. Continuous Integration with Jenkins 🆕

  11. Another new entry for 2021 is Aparna Gopalakrishnan’s CI course with Jenkins. This course was a late addition to TAU in 2020 and apparently was right on time! As automation engineers embrace CI/CD, this course gets them up and running!

Our Observations

We last compiled our list of top testing courses from 2020, and there have been a few changes! 

  • JavaScript rising ⬆: “Introduction to JavaScript” has risen to become one of the most popular courses after debuting late last year, settling in at #4. Clearly, there is strong demand for JavaScript knowledge in the testing community with tools like Cypress growing in popularity. We definitely recommend that you add this one to your 2022 learning goals to keep up with the market trends.
  • Java still dominant but arguably declining 🤔: Last year, the #2 and #3 courses we saw were “Java Programming” and “Selenium WebDriver with Java,” respectively. Both are still on the list, but now at #3 and #7. On the other hand, “IntelliJ for Test Automation Engineers” climbed one spot this year, and “Cucumber with Java” is a new entrant on the top ten list. So Java still has a dominant 40% of the top 10 courses this year. We’re eager to see if the JavaScript programming course will surpass the Java programming course in 2022. Also, while not making the top 10 list, the Python Programming course came in at #11 and missed the list by a mere 12 students.
  • Selenium vs Cypress 🥊: This is a big question that we’ve been talking a lot about. While Selenium Java still has a strong position in our top 10, this year “Introduction to Cypress” debuts on the list just one spot behind it, and by less than 100 students!
  • API testing is still in demand: The “Exploring Service APIs through Test Automation” course was released in January of 2019 and remains in the top 10 courses year after year – proving that API test automation skills are highly sought after.

2022 and Beyond

As you’re planning your education initiatives for 2022, keep these amazing, freely available resources in mind. In addition to these 10, there are many more courses available and new ones being released every month. To be notified of new course releases, register at Test Automation University!

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