Maven Archetype

Takes Inaugural Hackathon

ROCKVILLE, Maryland – This summer FINRA hosted its first hackathon built around our Java Test Automation Framework (JTAF) Extensions for WebDriver (EWD) open source release. We opened up our Rockville campus - offering $504 in prize money - seeking an infusion of creativity to take JTAF-EWD to the next level. JTAF-EWD is an automated functional testing tool used by 74% of the FINRA application portfolio.

Hackathons deliver three key benefits, according to organizer Nil Weerasingh. They build the community and extend projects with no additional funding, allowing innovative ideas to come from different sources. They provide visibility to the cool technology FINRA is using and act as a recruiting driver.

Fifteen people competed in our inaugural hackathon which followed presentations with meetup groups in Washington and New York. FINRA colleagues Ben Bunk, Michael Chao and Chien-Hung Kuo joined forces as Team Joe to submit the winning entry. The trio added a Maven archetype to JTAF-EWD. The archetype provided an easy way to start a new project rather than complete a complicated multi-step process. “It jump-starts the learning curve and has everything set up for you,” said Chao, whose team spontaneously formed on the day of the event. “We planned it well,” Team Joe teammate Kuo said. "We were going to complete something rather than dream big and not finish."

Teams had only five hours to plan, develop and submit their entry which judges scored on completeness, creativity and documentation.

Want to Check Out JTAF-EWD?

JTAF-EWD was open sourced in December 2013 and has had several subsequent releases. In the spirit of open source, a contributor from Germany prepared most of the August code release. Download JTAF-EWD from FINRA’s open source repository on GitHub. If you’re interested in contributing to JTAF-EWD, check out our development resource page and visit the JTAF-EWD Google Group forum. Learn about FINRA’s other open source projects here.

JTAF-EWD is an enhancement for the Selenium WebDriver Application Programming Interface (API).

Evolution of Code

JTAF-Extensions for WebDriver (EWD) Timeline
FINRA developers create the initial code base for JTAF-EWD with Selenium RC 1.0.


WebDriver merges with Selenium RC, giving birth to Selenium 2.0. FINRA developers completely rewrite the JTAF-EWD tool with the new API, improving performance during automation runs and adopting a web element concept to capitalize on reusability.


2012 FINRA developers start planning a JTAF-EWD open source (OS) release in late 2012.

FINRA developers mature the tool and release it to the open source community with new features:
  • An extensive HTML widget library (out of the box use/Widget Design Pattern model)
  • Improved session management (run tests in parallel/specify browser’s session configuration/handle different threads)
  • Testing against multiple browsers
  • APIs for common actions (opening a page/selecting a frame/frame scrolling)


FINRA hosts its first hackathon. JTAF-EWD v 1.4 is released, adopting Selenium’s “By class” method for identifying objects. The majority of code was prepared by an external contributor from Germany. Three external companies begin using JTAF-EWD – in the United States, Canada and Germany.