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Test in the Cloud for Free - Run Docker Selenium in Heroku and Google Cloud Run

“Test in the Cloud for Free - Run Docker Selenium in Heroku and Google Cloud Run”

James Mortensen

There are plenty of paid tools out there to help scale UI automation tests, but if you’re in the initial stages of writing those tests, what you really need is just a simple way of visualizing and debugging what’s happening in the browser. You can view tests in the browser with paid tools, but a fully fledged paid solution isn’t necessarily what you need if you’re on a budget, an independent developer, or simply early enough in the process to where you aren’t ready to invest in such tools.

I initially started writing test cases by running tests locally. But this sometimes means dealing with a local browser popping up in front of us or stealing the focus away from something else we’re trying to do while those tests are running. I wanted a way to be able to run tests locally and also see them running in the browser, without taking up resources on my computer, and without any costs. Solutions like Docker/Podman help with this, but when running on macOS or Windows, this involves virtualizing Linux so that containers can run on the machine. If you’re on a low-end machine, then this can significantly slow down the computer.

In this talk, I’ll take you through my journey of figuring out how to get Docker Selenium container images running on cloud container platforms such as Google Cloud Run and Heroku, using some commonly used open source tools.


James Mortensen has been working with computers since his parents bought an IBM 8088 PC in the early 1980s. He has over 15+ years professional experience in the IT industry creating a variety of products for the web and desktop. He’s done everything from using third party PBX, and WebRTC software to build communication solutions for call centers and other businesses, using Websockets and other server-push technologies to route work to people, building out CI and automation workflows, to leading and coaching teams on good development practices, which build world class organizations. James is an avid learner who believes in standing on the shoulders of giants. He spends time every day listening to podcasts and reading articles from industry leaders.

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