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Learn Watir with online courses and programs

Watir, an open-source testing framework, automates browser-based testing for web applications using the Ruby programming language. Learn Watir and improve your web application testing skills with courses delivered through edX.

What is Watir?

Watir, short for Web Application Testing in Ruby (pronounced "water"), is an open-source tool for automated web application testing.Footnote 1 It simplifies the testing process by simulating user actions through scripts that precisely represent how users interact with the application. For example, Watir can simulate actions like navigating between pages, filling out a form, or uploading files.Footnote 2 This helps identify potential issues, bugs, or inconsistencies in the application's functionality or user experience.

One of the primary benefits of using Watir for web application testing is its seamless cross-browser compatibility and extensive multi-platform support. Watir simplifies the development process by providing a stable testing environment across multiple platforms, avoiding the difficulties that can arise from browser inconsistencies.

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Watir tutorial curriculum

A beginner's Watir course usually covers fundamental programming concepts and features of the tool, including installing the Watir-webdriver gem and setting up the testing environment. You may learn how to create scripts to automate basic user interactions, test simple web pages, and work with web drivers such as the Cucumber Watir Webdriver integration.Footnote 3

When you have a good grasp of the basics, you may progress to an advanced Watir testing tool tutorial to learn more complex concepts and actions.Footnote 4 These courses may be best suited for individuals who work in quality assurance engineering roles and want to expand their understanding of testing frameworks. 

In an advanced Watir course, you may learn to: 

  • Handle AJAX requests, deal with iframes, and work with complex forms.

  • Manipulate cookies and sessions to simulate different user scenarios.

  • Use JavaScript to handle dynamic content on web pages.

  • Run tests on different browsers and ensure cross-browser compatibility.

  • Integrate Watir with other testing frameworks like Cucumber to create more organized and efficient tests

In addition to taking a Watir-specific course to build your software development skills, you can enroll in a boot camp, which can provide flexible, hands-on learning on topics such as coding. Busy professionals may opt for executive education courses, while those seeking a more comprehensive curriculum may enroll in a bachelor’s degree program or, for more advanced learners, a master’s degree program. Find the right educational path for you and start learning with edX.

Explore jobs that use Watir

Now that you know how to learn Watir, it’s time to explore what kind of jobs use it.

While Watir isn’t the only tool QA teams use, understanding how it works can be a valuable addition to your skill set. Typically, professionals who learn Watir work with web applications, or are involved in software development or testing. For example, web developers might need to use Watir to test the key elements of the app they’re developing. Some potential jobs in which knowledge of Watir can be useful include:

  • Software testers

  • Quality assurance engineers

  • Web developers

  • Test automation architects

  • Technical test lead

  • Quality assurance analysts

People in these roles might want to learn Watir to help handle testing-related responsibilities, such as creating test scenarios, identifying issues early in the design process, performing regression testing, and assessing app performance.

In addition, other professionals not directly involved in web app testing could still benefit from learning Watir. For example, product managers might use Watir to check if a newly developed feature works as expected and meets product requirements. Similarly, UX designers could use Watir to ensure that a web app’s layout and design work well on different screen sizes and devices.

How to use Watir in your career

If you’re responsible for maintaining the quality and functionality of web applications, you may find it useful to learn Watir. Professionals in the field of software development, testing, and quality assurance may end up using Watir in their day-to-day activities. If you work as a quality assurance engineer for a SaaS (Software as a Service) company, you may use Watir for regression testing each time a new software version is released. This will help ensure that the product meets high-quality standards. You may work with the development team and other QA staff on the critical tests needed for regression testing and then use Watir to create and run test scripts to find any issues or bugs before you release the new version.

Eventually, you may want to structure your tests and streamline the testing process on Watir. At this point, you might need to learn how to use Watir with other browser automation tools, especially when working on a complex web application.

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