Sauce Labs Review

The most important and valuable feature is the ability to select multiple browsers and environments to test and configure how your site runs and works, but the main interface can be slow to load.

Valuable Features:

Sauce Labs is an amazing product for the work that I do, and there are many different solutions for testing out there. Sauce Labs in particular, I have used on many occasions within different roles and I found it to be a good alternative to options such as Browserstack. 

The most important and valuable feature is the ability to select multiple browsers and environments to test and configure how your site runs and works. This process eliminates the need for any virtual machines taking up disk space on servers, and now Sauce Labs streamlines the testing process by being able to have these virtual instances of OS and Browsers right on-demand. 

I particularly found the tabbed view of Sauce Labs useful, allowing me to have multiple browser sessions open (one for, say, each operating system as well as different browser brands) along with its clean and minimal interface. These are features which aren't found in other testing suites and are definite bonus! 

As a newbie to automation testing and having experience in using a wide range of on-demand tools, my main aspect of Sauce Labs involves using the 'Manual Testing' option, which is brilliant. You simply selected the URL and choose the browser and environment, and within minutes you'll simply have a virtual environment to play with, and it is really that simple.

Another useful aspect of Sauce Labs' product is that you can allow it to take screenshots, videos and logs, which are really, really handy. Having dealt with many issues that end users see whilst a website is being developed on, often is the case that issues are hard to replicate. Knowing Sauce Labs is there to record this (in case I can't replicate it), makes this a tool which you can share the experience with other users. 

The configuration and options within Sauce Labs are endless, which makes it an excellent product. A well-designed and minimal interface has also helped me to stay productive and keep focused on the main tasks which I use it for (manual on-demand testing and using different environments to see expected behavior for our platform).

Over time, I aim to expand into the automation area which looks great from the outset and be able to automate some tedious tests which could reduce the amount of time that I spend testing, and ensure I can continue to capture bugs and issues more effectively.

Improvements to My Organization:

This hasn't necessarily changed the way in which the organization functions, but has added to my skill set. Currently, Sauce Labs fits very well within the other services (Ghost Inspector, Browserstack) which I currently use and it's a tool that is there for me to be able to have the flexibility to test on demand and use whichever configuration is right for me. For example, our user base will mainly be clients using Internet Explorer 10, 11 and Edge on Windows 10 or IE and, therefore, having these environments at my disposal is really handy. 

As a QA person, it is ultimately my responsibility to ensure that our product is tested on as wide a range of devices as possible and Sauce Labs helps to achieve this through the multiple environments that it offers and being able to multitask is an added benefit. 

For me, it has improved the way I function as I don't require the use of virtual machines and the headache of setting them up, and running tests on local computers meaning adding to the myriad of devices already on my desk! Streamlined, easy access to testing when I need to - that's already the benefit to me of Sauce Labs.

Room for Improvement:

The main interface, although clean, is sometimes very slow to load on slower connections and selecting a machine and waiting for it to boot up the environment takes a lot longer than other products I have used. This sluggishness also increases when the user tries to navigate the environment and interact with it. Selecting Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 gave me a really slow response time and took a while to boot up. All virtual environments are expected to be slow, however the interaction between the user and keyboard presses / mouse clicks wasn't very synchronized, and often the lag that is caused distracts away from the full experience. 

Manual testing also opens up in a separate browser tab, which I'm not sure why, but should ideally load over the main dashboard. 

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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