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Episode 007 - Finding Tools Special 2019 - The Evil Tester Show

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  • Have you ever built a tool list?

    Yes? Me too. I don’t any more. And in this show I explain why, and what I do instead.

    This podcast has also been uploaded to facebook:

    Show Notes

    Original twitter thread: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1098198817726517248.html?refreshed=yes

    The Observatron tool

    Exploratory Testing Chrome Extension

    Rapid Reporter, exploratory notetaking

    Exploratory Test Assistant - autoit script for making notes while engaged in exploratory testing - eviltester/exploratoryTestAssistant

    I like tools that augment my process and work together. So I use multiple proxies to observe, interrogate and manipulate HTTP traffic.

    I use FreePlane for mind mapping, because I can write Groovy Scripts that allow me to output the information in different ways. Here’s an extract to markdown script that I use regularly when creating conference slides and other written material

    Simple scripts for use with Freeplane. Contribute to eviltester/mm-script-repo development by creating an account on GitHub.

    I write most of my logs as text in markdown format so I can use multiple tools for reporting in different ways, and it is easy to parse for custom tools I write.

    I often write scripts to augment my existing tools, or extract information from them, or combine information from multiple tools together. Rather than look for a new tool. Often these are tactical, and just for my use.

    I sometimes wonder what other tools I don’t know about, but I don’t maintain a tool list any more. I tend to use a combination of tools, and only look for tools when I have a gap in my modelling, observation, interrogation or manipulation abilities.

    It was only as I was writing this extension that I stumbled across @bugreplay which is a commercial cloud tool that captures similar information as the extension I’ve written bugreplay.com

    I built this extension because I realised I had a gap in my observation and interrogation abilities… and because I wanted to learn more JavaScript, and experiment with extensions.

    Do experiment with multiple note taking approaches and tools to find a way that works for you, based around the process and the software that you test. Caution: spend more time using the tools, than augmenting and looking for new tools. (I’ve fallen into that trap too often)

    Actually I wrote it around 2004,2005,2006 but only released it to github in 2012

    And I only found it because it was mentioned in the testersio.slack.com channels


    • Don’t try to find “The one true tool”
    • Don’t build a list of tools
    • Learn to search well
    • Every list of tools you find will be incomplete and out of date
    • Look at native, built in OS functionality first
    • Learn to search in places where your tool might appear - e.g github, slack channels, forums etc.
    • Think like a marketeer - how would the ideal tool you need be marketed? search for that

    Go Meta:

    • make sure you understand your model of how you work
    • I have a meta-model for my work that uses Modelling, Observation, Interrogation, Manipulation as high level categories
    • I look for tools within those categories when I identify gaps in my ability to implement those categories for different technology

    If I am not observing a particular attribute of a specific technology. Then I go hunting. And my search is more specific.

    When choosing a tool:

    • Don’t evaluate, experiment: you know what gaps you want to fill When given a choice between tools:
    • look for tools that can be combined e.g. ffmpeg, automator
    • pick tools that can be augmented e.g. work with their files, APIs, plugins etc.
    • we want tools & utilities, not frameworks or funnels
    • pick tools that make it easy to work with - cross platform, cloud storage
    • do you have to make a choice? identify what they do well, use it when it works best