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  • Writer's pictureKarthik

JavaScript Vs Java for Test Automation


"As a tester beginning to learn automation, which programming language should I learn to maximise my job prospects?
Should I learn Java or Java Script ?"

Java has been mainstream for close to three decades now. It has been indomitable in the enterprise world. Tons of tutorials and help are available for Java-based libraries. It's easy to learn as a beginner, sites like Stackoverflow and GitHub have a huge knowledge-base with solutions to most problems you are likely to face in your automation journey.


JavaScript has emerged as a natural interrupter that started off with client-side applications and later evolved to server-side, desktop, and now to any back-end applications as well. Now JavaScript has become the de-facto standard for web-based applications.

In fact JavaScript is the most used programming language among developers worldwide, as of early 2020.


Let's compare both technologies to get some more context ...


Both Java and JavaScript support the core Object-Oriented programming concepts like inheritance, encapsulation, and polymorphism.


Java is a compiled language whereas JavaScript is an interpreted scripting language. These two languages run differently. While Java code is compiled into bytecode and run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), JavaScript is interpreted directly by a browser in the syntax in which the code has been written.

Java is used mostly for server-side code whilst JavaScript is mostly used on the client side i.e. front-end and user interfaces.

Most of the modern-day user interfaces are built using JavaScript and it's not hard to visualize why it's the most widely used programming language as of 2020. If you are eyeing to automate front-end user flows with underlying RESTful services JavaScript is probably the technology of choice for most projects.

From someone trying to up-skill from manual testing and learn automation, JavaScript is likely to make you standout of the crowd as the frameworks are relatively new.

However, If you want to scale your automated tests to run on multiple platforms then the JavaScript-based libraries are still catching up on this front. If there is a need to run automated tests across multiple browsers, then JavaScript-based libraries may not be most appropriate. JavaScript is mainly front-end focussed and may not be the ideal technology for automating bespoke backend interfaces.


Java is more versatile in its application to automate a wide range of bespoke interfaces on the server-side whilst JavaScript is the preferred technology of choice for front-end user interfaces.


However, to ease development practices, JavaScript artifacts need not be compiled every time, unlike Java applications. With modern-day agile practices, this particular feature raises the bar. Hence developers love to get into the JavaScript ecosystem, starting from developing the applications as well with the use of CI/CD support to push into production. This simplicity has made JavaScript the most used programming language among developers worldwide, as of early 2020.


Which language is right depends on your personal situation and the above inputs should help you choose the right path. Both technologies are capable and sought after in today's job market.

If you are someone who can already automate using Java, learning JavaScript should be easy and will certainly increase your marketability and career prospects.
If you are a complete beginner and trying to choose between them, we recommend JavaScript as its a relatively newer technology and still considered niche compared to Java based frameworks.

To find out how you can master test automation with JavaScript please checkout our JavaScript Automation Specialist course.


If Java is your cup of tea (rather coffee) checkout our 'Developer In Test' course ..

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