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


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…



Zhimin Zhan

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