I recently had an interview question what problems did you have while testing in Selenium.

Well, I have experience in Selenium, but maybe I was testing a simple application, but I dried up quickly.

The problems are typical of any QA process, such as bugs would not go away even after developers fix the code. But what possible problems you may have with Selenium? There maybe syntax error, but it is not Selenium's fault or you can't import a specific library, but again Selenium is not the one to blame.

So what are possible hypothetical issues that you might have experienced in Selenium when it was Selenium related?

More broadly, when someone asks you about possible issues while automated what would be the best answer?

  • 2
    Can find some of them here sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/15402/… Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 3:26
  • @log_file Thanks that was very informative. I will keep checking that link trying to learn something new. However, if you were asked the question above, what would be your answer? Thanks again
    – Richardson
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 9:00

3 Answers 3

  • There might be slight differences in behavior of different browsers (because they are written by different teams).
  • Selenium tests can be flaky - fail, and later pass with no changes.
  • As with many Open Source tools, documentation might less than perfect. Reference docs is there but examples might be scattered over blogs. This is rapidly improving recently. But it is hard to complain about free tool not being perfect.

And if your budget allows that, you can pay an expert to contribute missing features back to upstream (or if not accepted, fork the source) - because, with open source, you have the sources.

I found that in open source projects, developers are willing to work on features which are priority to you, if you pay them hourly rate, and agree resulting code to be included in the shared sources. And they are willing to do it for a very reasonable rate, cheaper than if you try to do it yourself (because they are already expert in the code, and likely thought about that your dream feature, but lacked the time to implement it).


@Richardson, I would like to mention few where I faced issues or challenges with Selenium:

  1. Image or text overlapping issue
  2. No facility to deal with Captcha
  3. Doesn’t support any non web based (Like Win 32, Java Applet, Java Swing, .Net Client Server etc) applications
  4. When you compare selenium with QTP, Silk Test, Test Partner and RFT, there are many challenges in terms of maintainability of the test cases
  5. Since Selenium is a freeware tool, there is no direct support if one is in trouble with the support of applications
  6. Bitmap comparison is not supported by Selenium
  7. Any reporting related capabilities, you need to depend on third party tools
  8. You need to learn any one of the native language like (.Net, Java, Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby) to work efficiently
  9. Difficult to identify dynamic objects
  10. Working with frames
  11. Selenium test playback is slow
  12. JavaScript sandbox, Flash, Applets, Silverlight, and HTML 5’s Canvas all present problems in Selenium

Hope this helps!

  • 2
    Selenium is not a freeware. It free/open source tool. BIG difference. Read up wikipedia to be enlightened. And there ARE companies providing support (for a fee), like SouceLabs. Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 13:48
  • 2
    Also, CAPTCHA is BY DESIGN resistant to automation. So it works like designed. All your complaints about Selenium, it seems to me that you do not understand the problem space Selenium is designed for - because you complain Selenium is not good at things it was NOT designed to do at all. Yes, Selenium is not a silver bullet. Nothing is. Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 13:55
  • @narendra Thanks for answering my question. Also, I have another question that is still unanswered. Could you please help me there. Its link is sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/20624/…
    – Richardson
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 14:43
  • @narendra and its title is Testing Frameworks
    – Richardson
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 14:45
  • @PeterMasiar Nerendra's CAPTCHA point is valid. The question was about problems he had during Selenium testing. If you are trying to automate a login process, and it uses CAPTCHA, then you will have problems using Selenium. Nerendra never claimed Selenium was the only tool with that problem.
    – user246
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 15:02

If you have a C# Selenium Framework (built on MSTest or even NUnit) then you may have issues running Parallel tests. Especially if you want to fire these tests off in BrowserStack or SauceLabs. Java framework at least has TestNG to help with this but for dotnet it is a lot trickier...

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