Software testing is one of the most highly skillful and creative tasks that is performed as part of the development process. It takes a certain mindset, level of experience and attention to detail to catch defects early before they can leak into production. Testers have to consider several risks and align their efforts based on the risks that would most impact the customers and organization.
As part of our daily activities, we are expected to wear different hats in addition to tester: developer, business representative, risk mitigator, liaison between teams, and much more. To perform well in these roles, there are certain tools testers can use on a daily basis to make them highly productive and successful.
Here are five tools that help testers keep up with the pace of feature development.
1. Screen capture
Ask a tester how many screen captures they have done in their life, and the answer would be in the order of thousands. Yes, that is how much testers use screen capture tools.
When exploring an application, there are often scenarios that cause unexpected results. Apart from collecting logs, testers are expected to capture screenshots of the unexpected behavior to tell a compelling story to the project stakeholders and help get the defects fixed. There are various vendor tools to capture screenshots, and there are also shortcuts for a Mac or PC to easily capture a full or partial screenshot.
2. Text editor
Testers are constantly taking notes about the application they are testing, items to follow up on, or reminders for themselves to complete certain tasks. One way is to go old school and use paper and pen to jot down notes. But with advancements in technology, now we can access our notes no matter where we are and whatever device we use through the power of the cloud.
Using cloud-based editors, testers can gain access to important information instantly, which helps them stay more productive at work. Try out different note-taking apps like Windows Notepad, Notes, Evernote and more.
3. Browsers with dev tools
The need for web and native applications to work seamlessly across different devices and browsers has encouraged developers and testers to use browsers with great dev tool options.
Remember, browser tools are not a replacement for actual simulators or emulators. But they are a great way to do quick, dirty tests and get feedback on the application.
4. Monitoring and logging tools
In the past several years, with the growth of applications based on AI, cryptocurrency, blockchain and microservices, it has become critical to evaluate an application underneath the hood using different monitoring and logging tools. Many kinds of failures, such as memory leaks, buffer overflows, exceptions and crashes, happen behind the scenes, and they have to be investigated and fixed before they can cause unexpected consequences in production.
This is why monitoring and logging tools have to be used daily and be included as part of our testing process. For example, if you are testing a video player that streams movies, you could play a two-hour movie, connect it to a logging tool, and, once the movie ends, investigate the logs to see if any errors or crashes happened behind the scenes.
Combined with other testing approaches, this helps give good test coverage. There are a plethora of monitoring and logging tools available. Use the ones that give you the best information and value.
5. Automation tools
Automation is a vital part of our testing process. Every organization has some sort of automation in place to speed up the testing process and catch defects early. This is especially critical for teams that have their entire development process hooked into a CI/CD pipeline, where tests are triggered automatically during the different phases of the development process.
With organizations churning out features rapidly to meet exponentially growing customer demands, using these five types of tools regularly will help testers keep up and even excel at work.
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