My Innovative Solution to Test Automation: Attach test execution to the existing browser

A productivity utility that can save several hours every day for test automation engineers, but few people know about it.

Zhimin Zhan
12 min readNov 2, 2022

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This is included in the “My Innovative Solution to Test Automation and Continuous Testing” series.

When I worked as a test automation engineer (contracting) or consultant, my colleagues were deeply impressed with my productivity. Some labelled me a “10X” or even a “100X” test automation engineer. Many factors contribute to a real and productive test automation engineer. To me, the most important one is to use “Attach test execution to the existing browser” when developing/debugging automated tests for web apps.

First of all, this is not a secret. I wrote about it in my first book (1st edition in 2009): Practical Web Test Automation with Selenium WebDriver, and the article (Jan 2021): Attach Selenium Python Test Steps Against An Existing Browser.

In this article, I would like to share how I came up with this idea, then implemented it, and used it in daily work.

Table of Contents:
· What is “Attach test execution to the existing browser”?
· Why “Attach test execution to the existing browser” is so helpful?
· Watir-Classic’s Attach Browser Feature was not available on Selenium WebDriver
· I implemented this feature in TestWise 3
· A total reimplementation in TestWise 6
How “Attach the browser” is implemented in TestWise 6?

What is “Attach test execution to the existing browser”?

Let’s see it in action (30-second screencast).

Please note, this article is not a sales pitch for TestWise, a testing tool (2010 Ruby Award finalist and listed as the first testing tool in the presentation “Trends in Agile Testing” by Lisa Crispin, co-author of the Agile Testing book) created by me. The foundation of this…

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Zhimin Zhan

Test automation & CT coach, author, speaker and award-winning software developer. Help teams succeed with Agile/DevOps by implementing real Continuous Testing.