The best way to learn to code is to just write code. And coding for automation is no different. The trouble is, to test your code and experiment, you’ll need sites that you can actually run the code against.
Using your favourite blog sites, forums or online shops can work, and for learning the basics, it’s definitely something you can do. However, the trouble with these sites is more often than not, they have been live for years and as a result are very well coded and optimised. Whereas, the sites you’re likely to be writing tests for…probably not the case.
That’s not to say you won’t be working with talented and experienced developers, far from it. But more that if you’re writing new automation, then it’s probably because new code and new functionality is being added, which is never perfect first time of asking.
Part of the “joy” of automation, is dealing with these challenges of having to write tests for sites that don’t necassarily work as well as they should, and have quirks with certain areas of functionality. And you’ll learn a lot faster having to negotiate those challenges and those hurdles than you would just working against a perfect website.
Thankfully, some brilliant people out there have created websites for exactly this purpose. Covering a whole range of scenarios, from mimicking online stores, travel agents, online banking through to address book applications.
These will include features such as multiple users that can be tested for different access levels, as well as good and bad versions so your tests will correctly fail.
Be sure to check it out so you can use some of the sites to practise some of the skills you’ve hopefully picked up on previous articles on this site.