January 7, 2015

Tools for super testers

Testers need tools to in order to be effective in their line of work. Super testers even more so.

In this article we take a look at six essential gadgets that should be in the toolbox of any tester who bravely fights the good battle to rid the world of pesky software bugs and make users happier everywhere.

Event viewer

When testing Windows-based applications, the built-in tool Event Viewer often comes in handy.

Testing can generate an enormous volume of data that has to be logged and scrutinised in order to track problems and errors. Windows applications automatically log application errors to the event log and these logs are easily read using the Event Viewer app.

Application log files contain error messages and usage information. Event viewer is able to read and parse these files, automatically extracting the information and presenting it in a more actionable format.

Testers will find this tool very useful to identify errors generated during testing and to monitor their applications for errors, risks and problems. You can easily copy information from the event log and paste the information into bug reports. Typical information found in the log can be what program crashed and what internal error occurred when it crashed.

Screen capture software

Jing lets you capture short video clips of everything you do on your screen and then instantly share them with others. It is a very useful tool to have when you wish to clarify a bug by giving a visual recording of what the user experiences to complement a text description.

Using screen capture software makes it a lot easier for developers to reproduce bugs and enhances communication between different departments, leading to an increase in collaboration and productivity.

With Jing you can also add basic visual annotations like arrows and text boxes that allow you to explain better any errors you record and share with colleagues.

Markup validation

When testing web-based systems the HTML code has to be validated. When writing code it is easy to introduce bugs in the HTML, and many of these bugs are hard to see immediately since many modern browsers show a perfect result even though the HTML contains errors.

HTML validation is a useful tool to make sure that the HTML code is clean and without errors. Validation ensures that the web page works in most browsers.

Validation is therefore a powerful debugging tool in the super tester’s arsenal, for several reasons:

Firstly, validations is a quality check that ensures a page is built according to contemporary Web standards and that it displays fine on different platforms.

Secondly, markup validation makes maintenance and development easier as code is written according to upon standards that makes it easier for another tester to take over should this be the case.

You can do HTML validation online using the free web service provided by W3C that checks your entire website and evaluates its conformance with W3C open standards to identify those portions of your website that need your attention.

Browser automation

Browser automation software is another handy tool to have in your super tester toolbox and our favourite at ReQtest is Selenium, a nifty suite of tools that automates web applications across many platforms for testing purposes.

This software can do simple record-and-playback of interactions with a web browser without having to learn a test scripting language, although you can write tests using a number of popular programming languages if you wish.

Testers will find Selenium useful for creating quick bug reproduction scripts, as well to create robust, browser-based regression automation. You can also use Selenium and such tools to automate tedious tasks such as creating test data or maybe fill in your time report.

Wireframing software

A simple and effective wireframing software, one that can seemingly read your thoughts and help you visualise accurately the finished product is essential.

A wireframe is a visual guide that serves as the blueprint of your website or software. It depicts the page layout and the arrangement of the various elements that make up the product as informed by your business objectives and your creativity.

When our team needs to wireframe, we fire up Balsamiq Mockups, a web-based mockup software that makes wireframing effortless.

Balsamiq Mockups is ideal for collaborating on a project, and it is so simple that anyone – even clients – can learn to use it and express their needs more clearly.

With Mockups you can build wireframes for websites, desktop and smartphone apps. The software features 77 built-in controls that cover every design need and purposely uses rough, pencil-like sketches to help you focus on functionality rather than simply on design.

Bug reporting and tracking

In their endless fight against bugs, even the most super of testers will need a trusty sidekick to help them get out of a jam.

We at ReQtest put together the ultimate bug reporting and tracking software that combines the raw power of Thor’s hammer with the sophistication of the Batmobile in order to swiftly bring errant code to justice.

ReQtest was built from the ground up to integrate seamlessly with Agile environments.

It features a handy Agile Board that lets you lay out all your team’s tasks onto a virtual board and monitor progress in real-time.

As an advanced bug-tracking tool, ReQtest consolidates information from bug reports in a single database that can be accessed by testers everywhere since it is conveniently and securely in the cloud. Thanks to the sophisticated search and filter tools you can pull up the data you need about a particular bug instantly and visualise it as informative, easy-to-digest charts and figures.

You can write test cases within ReQtest using bespoke templates that can be shared with your colleagues and follow their progress in real-time. ReQtest keeps track of every changes and easily lets you trace every bug report that is linked to particular test cases.

Requirements are also a breeze on ReQtest. You can record and track changes on all your requirements, as well as sort through them and prioritise the ones your team will be working on next.

Gear up super testers!

Being a superhero requires talent, experience as well as the right tools for the job. Armed with the six essential tools of super testers you’re ready to take on even the most villainous of bugs and send their digital reign of terror to oblivion.

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