Euclid, the inventor of geometry, was asked once by the ruler of Greece if there is a shorter road for learning geometry.
There is no royal road to geometry, Euclid replied.
Is this true for test automation?
Some people believe that shortcuts exist.
Record-and-play automation tools are seen often as shortcuts because they promise the dream of becoming a test automation developer without knowing any programming. They promise a dream which has nothing to do with reality and they deliver nothing. Being able to record and play tests is not test automation. The recorded tests have incredibly bad code that is not maintainable, is very fragile and unefficient.
Codeless automation tools are viewed as another shortcut. Becoming an automation developer while using a codeless tool is just a contradiction. How can you be an automation developer if there is no code to write? When using a codeless tool, you may become a tool expert but that is about it. Test automation is not about dragging and dropping components in a tool or about recording and playing tests. Test automation is programming.
Others look for the best book or online course or tutorial because they assume that this is going to work for sure. There is no such thing as the best book or course for Java or Selenium. Each book and course includes partial knowledge that is far from being complete or perfect. Each resource is created from the teaching style of its author and may work for some people but not at all for most.
Finally, many believe that $10 courses like the ones from Udemy are the fast solution to becoming an automation engineer. They buy these courses by the dozen (because who can resist to something like 94% off for a $300 course; I wonder who, in his sane mind, would sell a great product with a 94% off discount; would you?) and then leave them on the side. Or take one or two, realize the poor quality and give up.
There are no shortcuts to test automation with Selenium.
There are no shortcuts for things worth doing like becoming fit or being healthier.
How could there be shortcuts for learning programming and Selenium? Test automation is programming and programming is not easy to learn.
It requires time, energy, perseverance and money.
Forget about the shortcuts and just do the right thing.
Learn programming well.