Test Tools – Selection is Important


Test Tools are integral to all the work we complete these days. There are thousands of test tools in existence. A google search obtained 941,000,000 results https://www.google.ca/#q=test+tools and some of the initial results are lists of tools for particular technologies or development platforms. No doubt searching for such a generalized term has brought a lot of results that are not really relevant to the particular task at hand but even a few of these sites will yield a lot of choice. Hence the title “Test Tools – Selection is Important” since we need to choose between all of these.

The key questions to ask:

  • What do we want the test tool to do?
  • What is our current testing process?
  • What is our budget?
  • What are our current competencies?
  • Who wants to use the tool?
  • How will it aid their work?

These are all important questions to ask before we run the search listed above. There are specific needs and probably conflicting needs existing in the acquiring organisation that need to be balanced. The question is how to balance those competing requirements.

Quality Assurance will make the decision about what to acquire much more obvious. The focus on process analysis will identify the areas or steps that are costing a lot in time or resources and the statistics gathered in the process analysis allow immediate identification of the largest possible return on investment. Balancing the expected return against the acquisition cost, implementation cost, training cost and support cost provides an instant upper limit to the budget. There will no issues deciding whether something will pay for itself.

Obviously, in addition to the above process orientation, there are going to be technical questions (compatibility with existing software and hardware) that further restrict the candidate list to a manageable number. These are not Quality Assurance questions.

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