Sauce Labs Review

Fast, massively parallelizable browsers, user-and-keyboard friendly interface, and nice toolset for making CI/CT happen


Valuable Features:

Ability to run many different browsers and tests in parallel. This has allowed us to keep our total test times under 25 minutes (even as we've continually added hundreds more tests and up to 10 browsers) and run tests more often—decreasing the time from bug introduction to detection.

Being able to test mobile devices (iOS, Android, and different browsers on each device) has helped us catch tricky mobile-specific bugs in the past.

We've also found the web-based review features (video playback, step-by-step screenshots, "click to manually take over test", full logs) and API handy for diagnosing failing tests and looking back at the result and timing history.

We also found Sauce Labs to be more flexible than alternatives during the setup phase—if you go just one parallel instance over the limit, for example, I noticed they won't instantly fail your tests like another major provider does, which saved a lot of time and frustration when getting parallel tests set up to start.

Improvements to My Organization:

We now find most browser-specific breakages before they hit production. This lets us push code out knowing it won't break in specific browsers, letting us be bolder in making larger changes across our codebase, frontend to backend.

We are now getting our Sauce Labs tests integrated with our CircleCI tests using Sauce Connect, which should dramatically decrease the time-to-issue discovery and save us time tracking down bugs once our tests catch them.

Room for Improvement:

Finding ways to debug our flakier tests is an ongoing pain for us (we've fought with our own tests' flakiness across all different providers, often e.g. due to some test steps using implicit rather than explicit waits). We could always use more insights in to the causes of different failures, common advice when a failure type is detected, or more detailed guidance on best practices for test runner setup.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: While Sauce Labs is an infrastructure partner with Code.org (see https://code.org/about/partners and https://code.org/about for more on Code.org's non-profit mission), this review reflects my unbiased personal experience and opinions formed evaluating and using the service—if it wasn't great, we wouldn't be using it!
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