Latest tools in software testing

From what it was a few years back, software testing has evolved into a multiskill role which requires a tester to offer more than just manually test a software.

These days, it's not uncommon to call for testers who are proficient in one or two programming languages, proficient in atleast one test automation tool, knowledge in SQL, exposure to Linux platform, etc. The reason being, the SAAS model has pretty much become extremely popular and most of these applications run on an environment that use Linux as an operating system, Mysql/PostgreSQL/Oracle as the database and tomcat apache as the application server. The application development widely happens in Java, Python, Ruby to name a few. Here, am speaking more about web applications and technologies that I have personally seen. There are many others which may have been chosen as per the needs of those organisations.

So, as a software tester, with agile practices over-taking the slower V-Model, you have to be able to cope with faster pace of development and be able to signoff test deliverables in a shorter cycle. Testers are expected to do more in ensuring quality with less hand holding as possible.

This is where tools come handy. One of the widely used web application testing tool is the selenium web driver. When I talk about test automation using a latest tool, I do not vote for record and replay. It's only a learning step and you should get involved in actual descriptive programming to effectively make use of that tool. When I interview, very often I come across candidates who put selenium as a skill in theri resume, however when screened they say they have just started learning and have used record and playback using the selenium IDE. That's not an expertise to put on the resume :-)

For UI automtaion, I have personally used Selenium with Python and Watir with Ruby (using descriptive programming to get my tests to do what I want in the required sequence and take actions based on the output from a previous task).

Alongwith this, learning how to identify elements using xpath is extremely useful.

Here's a list of tools from Wikipedia - GUI Tools

For backend test automation, you need to be proficient in one or more of the scripting languages :

  • Shell script
  • Python
  • Perl
  • Ruby

One of the more recently popular development framework is the Angular Javascript or Angular JS as it's called. It has a powerful javascript library that extends HTML DOM to dynamically create objects. Widely used in single page applications.

Protractor is a one of the latest widely popular tool used to automate tests for test web applications developed using Angular JS application. As a web application tester, this is one of the must haves in your kitty.


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