Automation Testing

The Top 11 Essential JavaScript Automation Frameworks

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JavaScript Automation Frameworks

There has been explosive growth in JavaScript Automation Frameworks usage over the past few years.

You might ask why? I believe that one of the main reasons for this is that there are a lot more web applications that are now using technology like AngularJs and React, so of course, this is giving rise to many more JavaScript developers in the field.

I originally created this post in 2016, but since then, lots have changed. So I went ahead and deleted the libraries that are no longer maintained.

Read on to learn the following:

  • shift left with testing automation
  • the top javascript automation frameworks
  • more details for each framework 

Shift Left Test Automation Javascript Frameworks
What are the Top JavaScript Automation Frameworks?
1. Jest
2. Puppeteer
3. Playwright
4. Jasmine
5. Nightwatch.js
6. Nemo.js
JavaScript Automation Frameworks Wrap-Up

Shift Left Test Automation Javascript Frameworks

Most companies are also making a test-first, shift-left move in their development practices due to a larger demand from developers who want to create their own tests in the language they are most familiar with: JavaScript.

Many front-end developers and programmers also want to create their own automated tests to get quick feedback on whether or not they’ve broken a code in their application while checking in new code or making changes to the existing codebase.

In my last post, I showed you the top 14 general Open Source Test Automation Frameworks You Need to Know, but what are the top JavaScript Automation Frameworks?

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What are the Top JavaScript Automation Frameworks?

Most of you are probably wondering what the top test automation frameworks for JavaScript actually are. 

Here’s what I found. I ranked the JavaScript test automation frameworks in order of popularity based on a combination of GitHub stars and NPM downloads numbers:

Jest | JavaScript Automation Framework | Test Guild

1. Jest

When I first wrote this post, I don't think Jest even existed. Now it seems to be one of the more popular automation javascript frameworks out there. Based on its GitHub and NPM number, it jumps straight to the number #1 spot.

Jest is used by Facebook to test all JavaScript code, including React applications. It's easy to set up since they really focused on making it a zero-configuration experience.  Jest comes with all of the capabilities of a bunch of tools that you don't really need to worry about integrating at all.

• 38.3 GitHub Stars
• 107,733 NPM downloads in the last month

Puppeteer | JavaScript Automation Framework | Test Guild

2. Puppeteer

Since its release, Puppeteer pretty much made PhantomJS obsolete. Puppeteer is a Node library. It gives you a high-level API to control headless browsers like Chrome or Chromium. You can also configure it to use full (non-headless) Chrome or Chromium.

• 76.8k GitHub Stars
• 58,366 NPMdownloads in the last month

Playwright automation framework

3. Playwright

Playwright is a framework for Web Testing and Automation. It allows testing Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit with a single API.

• 35.4k GitHub Stars
• 1,273,433 NPM downloads in the last month

Jasmine BDD | JavaScript Automation Framework | Test Guild

4. Jasmine

Jasmine is a behavior-driven JavaScript framework for testing JavaScript code. This is the “goto” unit testing framework for many developers, including Derick Bailey from

In my TestTalk with Derick, he mentioned that he knows it's not the most up-to-date framework out there; there are other test frameworks that push forward faster and more frequently. But he’s not necessarily interested in staying on the cutting edge (or even the leading edge) of the testing world. Derick is more interested in long-term stability, support, and simplicity, which he finds in Jasmine, which is why he continues to stick with it.

For many developers, Jasmine is still their main go-to JavaScript testing tool because of its simplicity and getting things up and running.

• 15.3k GitHub Stars
• 1,385,198 NPM downloads in the last month

NightWatchJs | JavaScript Automation Framework | Test Guild

5. Nightwatch.js

Nightwatch.js describes itself as an easy-to-use Node.js-based end-to-end (E2E) testing solution for browser-based apps and websites. It uses the Selenium WebDriver API to perform commands and assertions on DOM elements for frontend testing.

Think of Nightwatch.js as a testing framework that is written in JavaScript and designed for web developers. Nightwatch.js gives you an API for writing your test — your test would basically be just node modules — and the runner itself is a Node.js application.

Nightwatch.js test runner can execute tests in parallel. It also works with Selenium Grid and Sauce Labs, and sometimes, more importantly, it has good documentation.

• 11k GitHub Stars
• 131,501 NPM downloads in the last month


NemoJs | JavaScript Automation Framework | Test Guild

6. Nemo.js

Nemo.js is an open-source, Node.js automation framework that was developed by PayPal. Nemo.js provides a simple way to add Selenium automation to your Node.js web projects. It also provides plugin architecture to incorporate custom features into your tests.

For more in-depth examples on how to get started with Nemo.js, check out Nilesh Kulkarni's Automation Guild session on Getting Started with Javascript Selenium Automation using Nemo.js.

• 165 GitHub Stars
• 31,387 NPM downloads in the last month


You might be asking what about a tool for javascript in automation testing?

If you're looking for help with javascript UI automation, is another tool that is rapidly gaining in popularity. 

And unlike tools like Selenium, Cypress is a more developer-centric test automation framework that focuses on making test-driven development (TDD) a reality for developers and test engineers. One of its design principles was to be able to package and bundle everything together to make the entire end-to-end testing experience pleasant and simple.

To learn more, check out my interview with the Founder and the VP of engineering at Cypress.

Test Automation Tips & Training

JavaScript Automation Frameworks Wrap-Up

JavaScript, once thought of as a toy language, is now becoming one of the most-known languages for the web.

If you are involved in testing JavaScript-based web applications, you’ll really benefit from learning one of these JavaScript automation frameworks to help boost the productivity of your current teams and enhance your future career options.

This should give you an idea of what is out there already and hopefully give you enough info to check out more.

These are the top frameworks I’ve come across. But as I mentioned earlier, there are tons of JavaScript test automation framework popups everywhere, so I’ll definitely be adding to this list as time goes on.

If one of your favorite automation with Javascript frameworks is not listed, please let me know, and I’ll add it.

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