People often ask me what I think is the best “Test Tool”. I give them my usual less than concrete answer- “It depends.” There are some – a few – that I personally like. Sadly, there are a lot of bad ones. In my opinion, there are more bad than good. I recently finished a project with an exceptionally bad one. I won’t name names here. Sometimes I wonder if they have ever talked to an actual tester. I’m hearing and seeing good things about the new test tools in Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2010, but I’ll withhold any judgement until I have had a chance to use it.
There is one tool, however, that I absolutely cannot live without, and it’s not even a “test tool” – Microsoft Excel.
I have found Excel to be one of the most versatile pieces of software that I have ever used. I’m always finding new and fascinating ways to use Excel to improve, and in many cases, accelerate my testing. I have used it to manage defects, build and manage test cases, produce test metrics, compare expected results to actual results and report any differences, and much more!
I’ll expand more on using Excel in future entries, with more specific examples. Until then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you take a look at “Favorite Excel 2007 Tips & Tricks” by John Walkenbach (there is a book for the previous version of Excel as well). It is by far the most used and most borrowed book in my test library. Also, check out John’s Web site at http://spreadsheetpage.com/
Take a look – you won’t be disappointed!