Why I Don’t Use Selenium-Grid?

It is too complex and missing key features of CT. I have been using BuildWise to manage automated UI test execution for ~10 years.

Zhimin Zhan
5 min readSep 13


Image Credit: https://javascript.plainenglish.io/docker-selenium-grid-setup-7e66d60a926a

I am a big fan of Selenium WebDriver. I have been practising/coaching web test automation using raw Selenium WebDriver since 2011 (yes, when it was first released). Also, I published six books on Selenium, including “Practical Web Test Automation with Selenium WebDriver” and the Selenium WebDriver Recipes series.

But I don’t use Selenium Grid.

“Selenium Grid allows you to run test cases in different machines across different platforms. The control of triggering the test cases is on the local end, and when the test cases are triggered, they are automatically executed by the remote end.

After the development of the WebDriver tests, you may face the need to run your tests on multiple browsers and operating system combinations. This is where Grid comes into the picture.” — Selenium Documentation (home page)

I attempted Selenium Grid several times and found it not useful in practice (OK for demo. I wrote my opinion down in the ‘Selenium WebDriver Recipes in Ruby’ book). The Selenium team also seemed to realise this, “Selenium Grid 4 is a fresh implementation and does not share the codebase the previous version had” (from the official documentation). Selenium Grid v4 is a total rewrite. It is better, but still, I don’t think it is up to the level I expected.

People often use it for Cross-Browser Testing.

From my experience, many projects use Selenium-Grid just for cross-browser testing. That is not surprising, even in Selenium’s introduction of Grid “…, multiple browsers and operating system combination”. Some engineers consider Selenium Grid, a free competitor to SauceLabs and Browserstack.

Selenium Grid 4 UI



Zhimin Zhan

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