Tools for Testing — 1

I recently took the excellent Black Box Software Testing Foundation Course offered by the AST (Association for Software Testing).

The course came with a lot of extra material in addition to the primary deck of slides & videos: Articles published by a number of people, blog posts, exam guides. I used Papers, which helps to organise, well, papers. It manages meta information about the papers, such as publishing date, title and authors etc. and allows highlighting text, adding notes and more. I also liked using the iPad version of the program (there’s a way to sync your library on your computer and iPad), because I don’t always work at my desk.

The other tool I found useful is GraphViz, an extremely powerful program to describe and draw graphs. The graphs are described in a text file (there’s a complete language that describes graphs, but for many purposes you’ll only need a small set).

digraph example_path {
graph [ dpi = 150 ];
 rankdir = LR;
 fontname="DejaVu Sans";
 fontsize = 20;
 node[shape=circle,fontname="DejaVu Sans"];

 1 -> 2 -> 5 -> 6 -> 7;
 2 -> 4 -> 5;
 2 -> 3 -> 4;
 3 -> 6;
 6 -> 2;
 label = "\nBranches & Loops";
}

GraphViz comes with a command line tool dot. If in the same directory as the file that holds the description above, one can use

dot -Tpng file_name_here -O

to generate a 150 dpi PNG file, which looks like this:

An Example Path

An Example Path

GraphViz can create much more complex images (see the GraphViz Gallery for examples), however I find just a short text file and a simple terminal command covers a lot of ground and there’s no need to create ‘hand made’ images anymore.

Both programs Papers and GraphViz are available for Windows, OX S and the iPad/iPhone (GraphViz is called Instaviz on the iOS devices).

What non-typical tools do you use in testing?

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  1. Tools for Testing — 2 | Seaside Testing

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