Boost Your Testing Super Powers

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Secret Tools to Add to Your Utility Belt

it to do a dizzying array of wonderful things, such as controlling applications or monitoring system resources or simulating a Web browser. And best of all, Perl is free.

Look for a Tool's Secret Identity
Each of these tools has something in common: they are all less than $100, and they were all designed to do something other than testing. Spector, for instance, is designed to spy on cheating spouses and errant children (its splash screen is actually a picture of a man spying on a woman). Restorator was designed to let you customize your applications.

To find such useful tools, you have to search for them more creatively then just typing "test tool" into a Yahoo search box. Browse Download.com once in a while, and look for utilities. I found Restorator by searching for "resources extract" on Google. Besides download sites, check out tools that come with development toolkits, O/S resource kits, the MSDN library, CDs attached to technical books, vendor Web sites, or ask developers about their favorite tools. Some tools are part of the operating system itself, but you'll never know unless you hunt for them.

If you find any other cool, cheap tools, let me know. I'm trying to compile a big list. So, flame on! It's bug clobberin' time!

About the author

James Bach's picture James Bach

James Bach is the founder of Satisfice, Inc., a test training and consulting company. James is coauthor (with Cem Kaner and Bret Pettichord) of Lessons Learned in Software Testing. He has written many StickyMinds.com columns and spoken at Software Quality Engineering conferences. He can be reached at james@satisfice.com.

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