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More Ways to Test – Adding Software Tools to My Toolbelt

Along with learning new business domains as I work on new projects, I also try to pick up new tools and techniques to help my testing. Recently, I’ve started learning more about some tools that help me get a better understanding and view of the app I’m testing.

Postman

Part of the new functionality on a recent project involved grabbing data from the business system and using it to populate fields. Instead of waiting for the form to be designed and built, I was able to use Postman to test out the API. This allowed me to look at the data being returned and test the responses when invalid arguments were used. I’ve only just started to scratch the possibilities of using this tool, so stay tuned for further posts as I get more experienced.

TablePlus

I use TablePlus to access the DB being used by the app. Rather than just relying on a SUCCESS message when I hit the Save button, I can verify that all the data did get stored and is in the correct places.

I also use TablePlus to help set up test data. This can be simple, like changing a user’s name to be really short or long, or adding an accent or hyphen to see if it causes any display issues. Or it can be more complex, allowing me to set up users with all the data combinations my devious tester mind can imagine.

Browser Developer Tools

There are so many options in each browser’s tools section. I often leave the console open as I’m testing so I can see errors behind the scenes that aren’t being bubbled up to the user. I’ve started looking at all of the other options, and each of them seems to be worth the few weeks it will take to learn.

For example, there are device options so you can check your site on different phone models without loading it up on a real phone. Under the Network tab, there’s a throttling option so you can set a Slow 3G connection and see how your site copes. The Performance tab can show where the bottlenecks are. There’s an Accessibility audit. And so on.

My goal is to learn how to use each of these sections over the next few months and see what value they can add to my testing. Stay tuned for future posts!


Looking for more ways to test? Read some of the other posts in this series:

  1. Lights, Camera, Action, Bugs!
  2. Follow the Data
  3. Quick Attacks on CRUD Apps
  4. Is it a Good Story?
  5. Testing for App Consistency
  6. Quick Tests for Your Web App
  7. “Alarming” Problems You Should be Preventing
  8. A Tester’s Consistency Checklist
  9. Peripherals? I’d Forgotten about Those…
  10. Alternating Phone Models Per Test Cycle
  11. Using Tea/Coffee Breaks in your Mobile Testing
  12. Testing Error Conditions
  13. Travel Bugs