Don’t hardcode usernames and passwords in your test scripts

If your application needs to authenticate users, you need some way for your automation to know your credentials. You may be providing these credentials in the test script itself. But this could lead to a possible breach of security. E.g: We learnt that BrowserStack keeps logs of every line of code executed. So if you had hard coded your username and password in your test script, the logs will have a record of them. In this short post we will show you how to separate out the credentials into a separate file.

Here is the login.credentials file which stores the username and password

You can use the following code snippet in your test script to read the credentials file and use the details in your test case.

import os,Conf_Reader
#Get the test account credentials from the .credentials file
credentials_file = os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__),'login.credentials')
username = Conf_Reader.get_value(credentials_file,'LOGIN_USER')
password = Conf_Reader.get_value(credentials_file,'LOGIN_PASSWORD')

You want a peek into Here it is..

A simple conf reader.
For now, we just use dotenv and return a key.
import dotenv,os
def get_value(conf,key):
    "Return the value in conf for a given key"
    value = None
        value = os.environ[key]
    except Exception,e:
        print 'Exception in get_value'
        print 'file: ',conf
        print 'key: ',key
    return value

NOTE: You can use the conf reader to parse more than just credentials. We find it very useful to put in a lot of test parameters that are usually hard coded within the script. This allows us to keep our scripts clean.

Hope this small piece of code will be helpful for you!

Vrushali Toshniwal

My journey as a tester started at Sun Microsystems (now Oracle). I was part of the testing and sustaining team for the Portal Server and Identity Management products. My first assignment was to test the Rewriter module. I enjoyed understanding the big picture, writing test cases, finding bugs and sometimes suggesting the fix too! I was hooked onto testing. Testing felt natural and intuitive to me. I am technically inclined and can write automation in Java, C++, Perl and Python. I am well versed with SilkTest, Selenium, Appium and Selendroid. I am a Computer Science graduate from BITS-Pilani. I love travelling and listening to music.


  1. Anonymous said:


    Just wanted to know. how this method is different from reading data from excel.??
    I had an another requirement actually.
    Currently I am reading data from excel but I want to read data from password protected excel.
    Can Conf_Reader, OS can do it???

    September 10, 2015
  2. Anonymous said:

    Hi Vrushali,
    I am SQA Engineer and I have done automation testing using Selenium. In this regard I need your some Consultancy. Would you please suggest me any add-on of jira for test automation Selenium Python.

    January 24, 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.