Essential testing tools

Even if you are testing manually, you don’t have to rely only on your hands and mind. There are tons of software testing tools that will help you test more efficiently; have less distraction while performing exploration tests; manage your test data and so on.
These extensions will not only speed up tester’s work but make it more reliable and improve quality of tests. Why? Because human memory is limited, unfortunately. Testing tools can extend your abilities. On the other hand, having too many tools can limit you. You’ll start thinking what your tools can do instead what you can do! And what’s even worse, looking for a tool for every task you have to do instead of doing it yourself in a fraction of time wasted for research. Do not let tools to overtake your mind.

BugMagnet

Browser Extension | BugMagnet

https://github.com/gojko/bugmagnet

The first great extension is a BugMagnet. Developer described it as a:

Exploratory testing assistant for Chrome and Firefox. Adds common problematic values and edge cases to the context menu (right-click) for editable elements, so you can keep them handy and access them easily during exploratory testing sessions.

This description is quite accurate. It’s just a tiny, simple but yet powerful tool. It allows you to store all of your thoroughly prepared test data. Not only the positive values for filling in forms with dummy data but, whats giving the most value, the data for boundary analysis, special characters that are hard or impossible to type straight from the keyboard and so on.

Another great feature of this extension is customizability. You can create your own sets of data or use other testers’ sets.
I personally use it mostly for storing naughty strings that check security flaws of tested application, like many variations of XSS, SQL Injection, or just bad validation and character escaping which can lead to a crash.

Check my links

Browser extension|CheckMyLinks

 

When you’re editing a web page that has lots of links, wouldn’t it be handy to be able to quickly check that all the links on the page are working ok? That’s where ‚Check My Links’ comes in.

‚Check My Links’ quickly finds all the links on a web page and checks each one for you. It highlights which ones are valid and which ones are broken, simple as that.

This brief description tells almost everything about this extension. It is super simple to use but in case you have many links to check every time, this little handy testing tool can save you a lot of time.

 

Form Filler

Browser Extension|Form Filler

The purpose of this extension is to help developers test their forms quickly and easily.
This extension allows you to fill all form inputs (text-boxes,
text-areas, radio buttons, dropdowns, etc.) with random/dummy data.

This is probably my favorite extension ever. Of course, the one related to software testing. I use it dozens of times every day.
When you have a boring, repetitive thing to test, requiring to fill a form and you do it for a 1000th time, wouldn’t you start filling this form with a dumb data like ‚lorem ipsum’ or whats even worse – random chars like ,dsfsgsgs’? Yes, you would, and that’s bad. Really.

Let’s create a simple example. We have a form with two fields: First name and last name. Then data from these fields are concatenated and produce a full name.
So, if everything goes well, providing a first name ‚John’ and ‚Doe’ as the last name, we’ll get ‚John Doe’.
But in case of some bug, the concatenation was inverted and it prints the last name before the first name, so we get ‚Doe John’. You will instantly spot that something is wrong.
Now imagine you put ‚dfgdsfs’ as the first name and ‚sdfsdf’ as the last name.
Would you spot a difference accidentally if it wasn’t the purpose of this test?

Let’s come back to Form Filler. With a little configuration where we can set our own data sets, add own field ID’s, classes or other matchers, and so on, we get a powerful tool that fills our forms with meaningful but fake data, rather than dumb dummy data. Please, don’t make your tests dumb 😉

 

Mockaroo

Online tool | Mockaroo

I also use the mockaroo tool in a symbiosis with FormFiller. The latter does not provide all the data types that I would like to have but allows to provide plain text dictionaries which you
can get for example from a great tool – mockaroo. It has many default categories, from names, through phone numbers, fake company names to drugs. And if it still isn’t enough you can use functions to better fit your needs or create own category by combining other categories or using regex to create almost anything you can imagine.
Great tool.

Summary

As you probably noticed, my main purpose of using tools is the time saving which I can use more efficiently, focusing on other parts of the application, without sacrificing quality. You’ll be surprised how many bugs will be revealed just by using data that tell you something when it’s processed and then displayed.
But please remember to NOT trust your tools infinitely. These are just testing tools, they wouldn’t think for you. They can also have bugs, just like the software you are testing. Just like any software.