What's the most useful tool in your day-to-day testing?
Quality Center? Visual Studio? TestExplorer? RapidReporter?
My most useful tool is the whiteboard.
That's, of course, a big lie. Whiteboards take third place.
The first single most useful and underrated tool
we use when testing is our brain. The second one
are our peers and friends. Whiteboards are only
How to make most of these tools? How to maximize the power of our
brain and our peers?
Here's a suggestion. The mind thinks in free-form, so you need a
non-linear no-mechanics medium to capture its thinking and make
sense of it.
For mind boost, use a whiteboard: When we translate what we think
into words (names), doodles
(entities), arrows and lines
(scopes), and spacing
(models); we notice what we think, and we give a
good opportunity to our mind to spot missing links and or enhance
the ideas. It's also a good way to avoid forgetting.
The board is even more helpful when sharing with others: There's no
mind transfer protocol yet, and each one has its own weird way of
thinking and modeling... A very reliable way of conveying what one
thinks is by collaborating and letting the other participate in the
You put your model and sketches into -paper- board,
and let a friend put his own doodles, arrows and questions marks.
Both of you have used words,
gestures and facial expressions
to make a complete picture of your
thoughts, so now the abstraction in the plank is a common one to
the two or to the team (if you've let a large group
participate). That may be as close to a mind transfer protocol
as we can get today.
Be sure to have a whiteboard close to you. I had one on the wall of
every single place in my workplace, and asked for one where there
was none. I have one at home (small 40x50cm ones can be found
cheap at discount stores).
Dry-erase boards are practical: You have plenty of colors without
having to click in tiny icons, they don't need electrical power,
usage scales from one to many users in a snap, screen content is
persistent, and it is great fun at the same time.
Your mind is too big for being enclosed into Outlook or
Give your thoughts some freedom - write them on the
This is how my friends see me, sometimes... :)