Lessons Learned… Lesson 268

Ok, so it’s been a few posts since my last lesson learned.  Continuing with my random selection to analyse a bit deeper my finger ended up landing on this…

Lesson 268: Download demo copies of testing tools and try them out.

The opening line of this one reads “You might have to do this at home, on your own time.”

This could be because your employer doesn’t want to pay you to research testing tools, particularly when you’re consulting and probably charging that little bit more.  The other common reason (more common in my experience anyway) is that your PC at work is completely locked down!  You cannot install applications until you go through all the approval processes, and this may not even mean it’s approved, especially when the application is open source.

So yeah, I’ve done this plenty of times over the past 12 months.  I wrote a post about one such experience at my old blog.  I continue to use these tools all the time.

I think this is definitely a great thing to do.  Even just so you can hold your own in a conversation if need be (or a job interview perhaps, as is mentioned in the book).

Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to convince any employers to start using the tools as they have all been large organisations where open source is not favored, or they already have expensive tools in place (I did use the ones in the previous post, but they weren’t used long term).  Having said that, it’s not all about open source.  Things like JIRA and one of the plugins Bonfire can also be looked at.  Yes, these cost money, but most of them have trial editions, or try before you buy options.  So why not give them a crack too?

This lesson is from Chapter 10, Your Career in Software Testing.  Personal development and learning is a key element to that (your career that is), and this one thing that can quite easily be achieved, given the spare time required of course.  I have been able to help a few people out in the testing community since doing this, as I could point them to a useful tool or test something for them quite quickly because of these tools.

If you haven’t seen it before, this website for open source testing tools is awesome!  Check it out.  I’m sure there’s plenty more, in fact I know there is, but I find this one handy.

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