Why did ThoughtWorks develop Twist, a non-Selenium E2E testing tool that ultimately failed, despite taking pride in its contributions to the creation of Selenium?

If ThoughtWorks had developed a robust commercial tool for raw Selenium, it would have generated decent revenue and continued to do so in years to come. However, sometimes humans are just too greedy.

Zhimin Zhan
8 min readJun 13, 2024

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What Happened to ThoughtWorks? is my most popular article, received a lot of positive feedback. This article explains why Twist, ThoughtWorks’ first test automation tool, failed.

The Greatness of Selenium

Generally, people refer to Selenium as Selenium WebDriver, though they were initially two separate frameworks, both created by engineers at ThoughtWorks.

The creators of major free and open-source Web Automation Frameworks were ThoughtWorkers (the years in brackets are their ThoughtWorks time):

Bret Pettichord
(2004–2005), creator of Watir.
Jason Huggins, (2000–2007), creator of Selenium v1.
Simon Stewart, (2004–2007), creator of WebDriver.

Selenium WebDriver: after the merge of Selenium and WebDriver in 2011.

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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.