Last time we managed to pass the narrow, old bridge to follow “Software testing” guidepost thanks to a little odd but nice guide . Then we thought about how to get the first experience/ Today, we travel back to the mysterious QA land to continue the adventure…
You are standing at the edge of the forest admiring vast valley full-of weird, but mostly beautiful structures. Some of those are fragile and shiny, some look more stable and noble, other are like a cyber-punk nightmare, some are like pyramids standing upside down, some are unlike anything you have ever seen. They serve different purposes – some are houses, some serve business, fun or health.
And all of those have been created by a magic tribe of Developers – they are skilled, but moody brood, defensive when it comes to their children, I mean structures, but always ready to visit nearby tavern to drink beer and listen to long talks of “Once upon a code…”
Wise king of these beautiful valley, Project Manager (or PM for short), has announced that as he wants to see his structures grow and develop, he could use more wizards to help the builders. You see, builders are great at their jobs, but sometimes they make mistakes or get lost in their ideas and end up with houses with no doors, walls colored crazy colors, fifteen bathrooms or halls leading nowhere. Some builders wanted to change that so they started to test the structures, their plans and needs of future users. It was hard for them to do two jobs, especially as one of them was to search faults in their own beloved work.
So some builders left and after some time mysterious people started to come to town -they were called wizards. Wizards are those, who help tribe of Developers build structures and take care of them by pointing broken or dangerous things when they can be fixed or re-designed. You came to this land to become a wizard yourself, to help Developers so that everyone, including our crowned PM can be proud of what has been created together. To do so, you’ll need a few spells up your sleeve..
When you finally start testing, you want to check everything at once and at the same time it’s easy to get overwhelmed – there is so much to do and no one can talk you through it. You have to take these first steps by yourself.
There are a few things though that may help you to start.
Heuristic cheat-sheet – it’s not really a cheat, it’s a list to print and always have next to you when you test – when in doubt what to test, how to test – read it again and most of the time ideas will appear. It’s short but packed with things that can trigger lots of “Oh, there’s one more thing I can do…”
Agile Testing Overview – starting to test is a lot and then some Agile-thingy comes along. There is a lot of books and materials online about Agile, but you need something easy to understand and related to testing. Read short PDF and feel that You at least now what to google when more info is needed.
Blind text generator – when you need a specific number of characters and do not have time or need to write down this one catchy song that’s suddenly all you remember.
Random text generator – when you need a text in Polish, English, Czech, Russian or Hebrew. You’re a wizard, you can do it!
Text mechanic – if you need an awesome toolbox with all kinds or text-related helpers, here you can find it – random characters strings, converting ASCII to Unicode or encryption generator.
Last but not least, a powerful Bug Magnet. Right-click tool that can save you a lot of time and speed-up your work on web applications by entering names, emails or format exploits for you. You can either use the default package of inputs or make your own version to suit your needs, then just upload it to BugMagnet and have what you need to put in those fields or text areas always at hand. Creators called it “convenient access to common boundaries and edge cases for exploratory testing”, but I see it as a good tool for a beginner to understand what kinds of inputs can give results and prompt them to ask why…
There are, of course more tools that can help you. We’ll go back to look into wizard toolbox, I mean spell-book, again, I assure you.
Until then, grab a tool and test it!