I am a manual tester and I want to learn test automation. I have basic knowledge of core Java and I would start to learn Selenium.

Should I start to learn Selenium IDE, Selenium1/RC or Web driver.

Also, any websites/apps on which I can practice test automation?


3 Answers 3


That partially depends on what you want to automate. From the front page of SeleniumHQ (my highlighting):

If you want to

  • create quick bug reproduction scripts
  • create scripts to aid in automation-aided exploratory testing

Then you want to use Selenium IDE; a Firefox add-on that will do simple record-and-playback of interactions with the browser.


If you want to

  • create robust, browser-based regression automation
  • scale and distribute scripts across many environments

Then you want to use Selenium WebDriver; a collection of language specific bindings to drive a browser -- the way it is meant to be driven.

RC is deprecated:

Selenium WebDriver is the successor of Selenium Remote Control which has been officially deprecated.

Selenium Server is for more complex cases:

The Selenium Server (used by both WebDriver and Remote Control) now also includes built-in grid capabilities.

Personally, after using both IDE and WebDriver:

  • IDE is a relatively simple Firefox extension in which you can probably write useful tests within minutes of installing it.
  • IDE isn't perfect; the issues may have been fixed in the meantime, but when I last used it (2013) it would sometimes not record my session, or would use 100% CPU until I killed it.
  • WebDriver gives you the strength and complexity of a programming language:
    • You can very easily reuse boilerplate code to get the system into a known state.
    • You can implement unsupported operations in an OK language (Java) rather than an often critiqued one (JavaScript).
  • I'd add the metaphor that IDE is like learning a macro-recording tool, while the webdriver side is like actually coding the macro.
    – ernie
    Aug 13, 2014 at 16:31
  • I will also note that I have been using the IDE for years and other than the first 5 minutes I met the tool, I NEVER use the recorder feature. I base all my finders on page objects that I stored in javascript variables and load through the options tab. This way my page components are defined outside of the business logic which makes the logic much more readable and most of all, reusable. All with the IDE. The main reason the recorder doesn't work in practice is that most apps being tested have db backends of some sort with ID's that change. Nov 14, 2015 at 17:52

@logician: Please go through this link seleniumhq here you will get all the information.

And to automate take any web application.


You can start learning WebDriver.

Selenium IDE is used to make your job easy in writing code.

Selenium RC is older version of selenium which is being rarely used. So I would suggest learn webdriver and once you are comfortable with it, use Selenium IDE.

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