Remotely Control This Browser: WebDriver and the Path to an Interoperable Web


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Accepted Session
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Scheduled: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 4:45 – 5:30pm


Browser automation based on the WebDriver standard is a key step toward web compatibility happiness. Automating all browsers consistently is an interesting challenge. In this session you'll learn how WebDriver is built into Firefox, why that makes the web better for everyone, and how you can get involved.


You can write simple code to automate your browser and simulate user interaction. Moreover, thanks to the people behind a W3C standard called WebDriver, some day soon you can expect to write just one script in your favourite programming language to automate all major browsers in the same way.

The WebDriver protocol can be used for testing web applications, reporting and reproducing web-compatibility bugs, gathering browser data and whatever else you can think to do with browser automation. It’s closely tied to Selenium, a well-known, open-source browser automation tool.

This talk will explain how WebDriver works and how you can work on it with us. Using Firefox as our example, we’ll explore why browser automation is tricky to get right. How are WebDriver commands dispatched? How does the browser figure out the correct response? What does “correct” even mean here?

Today, all major browsers work with WebDriver to varying degrees. As part of our mission to make the web interoperable, Mozilla is leading the way to fully implementing the WebDriver standard and we welcome your contributions.


webdriver, selenium, testing, automation, web compatility, architecture

Speaking experience

I've given short talks at workshops, tech meet-ups and Mozilla events. I have been teaching programming at the college level since 2010.