Upcoming Content for Test Automation University

Events — Published March 14, 2023

Test Automation University (TAU) is the premier platform for learning about software testing and automation. Powered by Applitools, TAU offers dozens of courses on all testing topics imaginable from the world’s best instructors for FREE.

In my previous article, I shared a breakdown of TAU by the numbers. I covered all the stats and metrics about TAU today. Now, in this article, I’d like to share the future by publicly announcing all the new content we have scheduled in our development pipeline!

New courses

Test Automation Design Patterns by Sarah Watkins

Up first is Test Automation Design Patterns by my good friend Sarah Watkins. Anyone who’s ever worked on a test project knows that good test cases don’t just happen – they’re built intentionally. In this upcoming course, Sarah teaches everything she knows about designing and delivering test automation projects at scale, from formulating tests to follow Arrange-Act-Assert, to using dependency injection for handling test inputs and other objects, to deciding between page objects or the Screenplay Pattern. This will be an advanced course to really help you become the ultimate SDET, or “Software Development Engineer in Test.”

GitHub Actions for Testing by Matthias Zax

Next up is GitHub Actions for Testing by Matthias Zax. Automation means much more than merely scripting test case procedures. It includes automating repetitive segments of your development process, like running tests and reporting results. GitHub Actions are a marvelous, lightweight way to add helpful workflows to manage your source code repositories. In this course, Matthias teaches how to create GitHub Actions specifically for testing and quality concerns. I know GitHub Actions have transformed how I run my own GitHub projects, and I’m sure they’ll make a big difference for you, too!

Behavior-Driven Development with SpecFlow by Bas Dijkstra

Next is a course for a topic very near and dear to my own heart: Behavior-Driven Development with SpecFlow by Bas Dijkstra. Behavior-Driven Development, or “BDD” for short, is a set of pragmatic practices that help you develop high-quality, valuable behaviors. Not only will Bas walk through the phases of Discovery, Formulation, and Automation, but he will show you how to use SpecFlow – one of the best BDD test frameworks around – to automate Gherkin scenarios. He will also teach how to integrate SpecFlow with popular libraries like Selenium WebDriver and RestAssured.NET.

I hope you’re excited for those three upcoming courses. Course development takes time, so we don’t have a hard publishing date set, but be on the lookout for them this year. I know Sarah, Matthias, and Bas are all hard at work recording their chapters.

New learning paths

That’s not all our new content. We have a lot more to announce today, so let’s keep going.

Visual Testing Learning Path

We have a new learning path to announce: Visual Testing! Applitools’ very own Matt Jasaitis is developing a three-part series on visual testing. The example code uses Selenium WebDriver with Java, but the concepts he teaches are universal. The first two courses in this learning path are already available. The third course, with the tentative title Expert Visual Testing Practices, will be available by April.

Leadership Learning Path

Historically, Test Automation University has focused almost exclusively on testing and automation skills. As we grow in our career as professionals, we often find we need to develop other kinds of skills as well. That’s why I’m excited to announce that TAU will be developing a new learning path for leadership!

Managing Test Teams by Jenny Bramble

The first course in our new leadership track will be Managing Test Teams by Jenny Bramble. At some point in our careers, many of us face the question, “Should I become a manager?” Becoming a good manager requires a different skill set than becoming a good tester or a good engineer. It comes with a new set of challenges that you might not expect. In this course, Jenny will share everything she’s learned about leading teams of testers, holding crucial conversations, and deciding if a career path in management is right for you. Jenny is also one of our speakers later today, so be sure to join her session.

Building Up Quality Leaders by Laveena Ramchandani

The second course will be Building Up Quality Leaders by Laveena Ramchandani. While Jenny’s course will focus primarily on being a good manager, Laveena’s course will focus on attributes of leadership that apply to any role within software quality. Laveena will cover leadership skills like servanthood, charisma, decisiveness, and gratitude, and how they all apply to the testing world.

Creating Effective Test Strategies by Erin Crise

The third course will be Creating Effective Test Strategies by Erin Crise. The key to leading successful testing initiatives is a solid, well-grounded, well-balanced strategy. The strategy must balance automation with exploration. It must include a variety of areas such as visuals, accessibility, and performance. It must be communicated effectively across teams. And it must be agile enough to adjust to changes. With her wealth of experience from several software projects, Erin will teach how to plan and execute effective test strategies in this course.

Just like for the other upcoming courses I just announced, these leadership courses aren’t ready yet. Expect them to drop later this year. We are also planning a few more courses in this leadership path, so stay tuned for more details!

Refreshing old courses

Now, we said earlier how TAU is over four years old. In the world of tech, that’s a long time. I hate to say it, but some of our courses are becoming outdated. Tools and frameworks evolve – as they should. It’s time to refresh many of our courses.

Last year, we published our first refresh courses: Introduction to Robot Framework by Paul Merrill and UI Automation with WebdriverIO v7 by Julia Pottinger. Both refresh courses were well received by our community of students.

After auditing our whole course catalog, I decided that it’s time to refresh some more courses!

Cypress courses by Filip Hric

Our intro and advanced Cypress courses are among our most popular. In fact, Introduction to Cypress is currently ranked #8 for monthly completions. This is no surprise given Cypress’s incredible popularity with front end developers. However, our mainstay courses were published before many of Cypress’s current features, like component testing and the new directory structure introduced with Cypress 10.

Filip Hric will take up the challenge to refresh both the intro and advanced Cypress courses. He will redevelop them to flow together cohesively as parts 1 and 2. We will also create a new Cypress learning path for them once we publish them.

Playwright courses by Renata Andrade

As a Playwright Ambassador, I can’t let Cypress have all the fun. Playwright is so hot right now. The community is booming, the downloads are skyrocketing, and even within Applitools and TAU, we see its adoption growing significantly. That’s why we are not only refreshing our introduction-to-Playwright course, but we are also going to publish an all-new Advanced Playwright course!

Our instructor Renata Andrade, like Filip, will develop these courses to be parts 1 and 2. She will also develop them in TypeScript. And you’d better believe we’ll create a Playwright learning path for them as well.

Mobile Automation with Appium in Java by Moataz Nabil

Let’s not forget mobile test automation as well. Moataz Nabil is going to split his course, Mobile Automation with Appium in Java, into two parts. At six and a half hours, this course is currently the longest on TAU. By splitting it into two parts, we hope to make it easier for students to complete.

Web Element Locator Strategies by Andrew Knight

And finally, there’s one more course we plan to redevelop: my very first course, Web Element Locator Strategies. In my refresh, I intend to develop new subchapters to show how to write locators in different frameworks like Playwright and Cypress, not just in Selenium Java. I’ll include new types of locators as well.

Retired courses

We also needed to retire a few of our courses that are out of date:

  1. Automated Visual Testing with Java by Angie Jones
  2. AI for Element Selection by Jason Arbon
  3. From Scripting to Framework with Selenium and C# by Carlos Kidman

In case you missed it, we removed these courses from TAU at the beginning of March. I want to thank these instructors for making these courses.

A full curriculum

I know I’ve talked a lot about learning paths today. One of the most requested new features we receive is certificates for completing learning paths. I’m sorry to say that we are not going to add certificates for learning paths. Learning paths are somewhat dynamic. They can change over time as we publish new courses. So, giving certificates for completing them doesn’t make sense.

Instead, we are toying with a stronger idea: a curriculum. A learning path concentrates on one narrow testing topic, like leadership or visual testing. I want to create a comprehensive program of courses covering a wide breadth of testing topics, and to recognize completion of that program with something like a diploma. We have a rich catalog of courses for building a strong curriculum. Right now, this is still in the idea stage. I’m hoping to bring it into reality later this year.

One more thing…

TAU is four years old, and while I hate to admit it, the TAU platform itself is starting to show its age. With so many courses available, it’s becoming hard to find the ones you want. On the backend, it actually takes quite a bit of manual labor to publish a new course, too.

It’s time to refresh the TAU platform. It’s time for TAU version 2.

Over the coming months, Matt Jasaitis and I will redevelop the whole TAU web app. Yes, that’s the same Matt Jasaitis who is creating the Visual Testing learning path. Our goal is to build a sustainable learning platform to serve Test Automation University for years to come. We will also build a better support system into the platform. Unfortunately, this project is so new that I don’t even have mockups to show you yet, but at least I can announce that TAUv2 is coming.

So, what do y’all think about all this new content coming to TAU? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know through TAU Slack.

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