188: Preparing for the Robotic Automation Revolution with Jason Huggins


Ever wonder who started the whole Selenium test automation thing? In this episode, we Test Talk with the father of Selenium, the Elon Musk of test automation, Jason Huggins. Jason shares how he started Selenium and founded Sauce Labs and Tapster Robotics. Prepare to enter the automation Matrix as Jason shares his vision of robots and test automation for the future.

About Jason Huggins



Jason Huggins is the founder of Tapster Robotics and co-founder of Sauce Labs. Prior to Sauce, Jason was a testing engineer at Google in Mountain View where he worked on the scaled test automation of Google web applications. Jason's experience also includes time at ThoughtWorks in Chicago. While at ThoughtWorks, Jason created Selenium, an integrated tool for automated web site testing.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk

  • I didn’t want to create a testing tool. And we sought out other open source tools the closest was JSUnit it was a browser rendering stuff except it was very unit test focused not functional test like it didn’t know how to go from page to page to page or just on one page. Also, there was another one. HTMLUnit was a java project and kind of it was a headless browser had a kind of javascript thing but it wasn’t real browsers so you couldn’t tell if that matched a real browser experience right. So again like the requirement was two browsers like one test drive two browsers and assuming you’re going to be interacting with javascript app and doing an assertion like after javascript did something interesting. So there was really nothing. So I actually took a break from the project I was leading and it started a side project we kind of you know found a conference room and just like disappeared for a month.
  • I think I realized it was a thing when I got when I kept on getting more questions about it I think were completely unsolicited. I started getting invitations to talk about it at other places like other consultants at ThoughtWorks. And people were telling their clients about it. That was actually one of the things that made it easy it was easier to open source it. To get it to our clients some of them had really weird procurement policies. So it was easier to open source download it as it goes to negotiate some kind of agreement.
  • I’ve been accused of planting the seeds of a problem in what ever I create — it solves a problem but creates another problem. Sauce Labs was created to address the problem of once Selenium solved the automation problem of running on more than one browser then you have a bigger problem in how do you maintain all these machines?
  • I made this tapping angry bird playing robot and showed it off at this conference and people came up to me and they skipped the whole Angry Birds video game playing a part of it. And something weird happened they were like hey I worked at The Secret Robot lab of company X Y Z. And we use robots to click buttons all day long. And I didn't know that was a thing. And they're like hey we should totally talk. So I started making kits of selling them almost at cost. But I started having really weird conversations with lots of companies that we all know and they all have secret robot labs. The big difference between the hardware world and the software world is that their very very secret keyword secret. So that was it. That was five years ago. It was kind of a hobby for a while and then I got a large order for these robots from a very large car company and at that point it was like whoa this isn't a hobby anymore. They're taking it seriously. I should take it seriously. So a couple months later I formally incorporated Tapster Robotics.
  • You basically have the Matrix or the Terminator as far as where functional testing will go.

Connect with Jason Huggins

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