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I want to implement automation for testing web applications and UI, my questions is, Selenium IDE or Selenium web driver needs less programming?

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If you want to do less programming you should stay in manual testing. Only way to write reliable robust scalable automated tests is using real programming language and pageObject design pattern. Python is easiest to learn, but still not trivial.

There is widely accepted "rule of thumb" that to become competent programmer (or any other skilled effort) you need to spend 10K hours to perfecting the skills. So it is about 5 years of consistent effort, if only use 8 hours a day. Many (most) programmers use their own free time to learn new skills.

Do you consider programming "just" a way to better paid job? You may find hard to compete with people who love such intellectual pursuits and spend own free time learning new skills.

Selenium IDE is becoming obsolete. One reason is that tests it generates are hard to convert to proper pageObbject pattern - it is easier just to start from scratch. Detecting locators is easy: hard part is to organize pageObject so it is easy to use from tests.

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You need less programming skills to use Selenium IDE than to use Selenium WebDriver. However, you can do more with Selenium WebDriver.

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Selenium IDE surely requires less programming knowledge. You can jumpstart your practical experience by going through the Selenium IDE Documentation or this video tutorial: Learn Selenium IDE in Less Than 10 Minutes

Learning Selenium WebDriver is not that difficult either. You need to learn the basics of any one programming language and then you can use WebDriver. There are lot of tutorials available online and even video tutorials to get you started with Selenium WebDriver using Java: Selenium WebDriver Tutorial For Beginners

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If you really want to complete this task with minimum of effort ,try using explotenary testing with MS Test manager. It will record every thing and play it back.

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