30 Days of Agile Testing – Developer Tools

Note that this post is part of a series where I am ‘live blogging’ my way through the ministry of testing’s 30 days of Agile Testing challenge.

I’ve been poking at today’s challenge for a little while already.  I’m interested in tools that developers use and I have tried to use some of them.  In particular (as the challenge mentions), I’ve tried using IDE’s.  I recently downloaded Visual Studio and set it up to use when writing some of my scripts.  I wanted to get a feeling for what it could do and in particular to see if I could get ReSharper working since I’m interested in learning a bit more about static analysis.

I used it to write a few scripts that I’m working on for analyzing our automated tests and my honest opinion is that I didn’t find it to be compelling.  In the first place, I couldn’t get intellisense to work for python scripts, so that really hurt productivity around autocomplete.  I’ve also been a pretty high end user or Notepad++ for some time now and so I’ve learned a lot of keyboard shortcuts that enable me to do things really quickly in there.  I kept hitting those and causing weird things to happen in Visual Studio. That is just part of the learning curve of a new tool I suppose – I found the same thing really difficult when I moved to using google docs instead of Word for example – but it still didn’t endear the tool to me.

Visual Studio has some things that look like they would be really helpful, like git integration for example, but in general I don’t like tools that do too many things.  I would rather have a tool do one thing really well and let you find other tools that do other things really well.  Tools that do everything tend to be too hard to learn and Visual Studio was certainly no exception there.  I have a lot of automation built up around my git workflows and so I didn’t like using that integration in Visual Studio.

I don’t think Visual Studio is a tool that will use in my regular day to day work, as it is too ‘heavy’ for my way of working, but I will continue to explore it.  I found some of our development team’s documentation on how to setup our development environment and so the next task I’ll be looking at is trying to set it up and use it for a developer workflow. In addition to the learning experience, I hope this will also give me more insight into how the developers on the team work and what I can do to better support our team in achieving shippable quality more quickly.  Maybe eventually I’ll even be able to try out ReSharper and figure me out some static analysis.

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