Do the obvious thing, excellently

1 Feb

So, I have just finished contract for a complex commissions system upgrade with Fuji Xerox, in Sydney and I thought I would share a thought or two.

When people talk of software testing, immediately most people think of Automation tools, like Selenium and Test Management tools like Quality Centre, which are of course great.

But what if you are working on a project that does not have those capabilities or budgets?

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Well, you just have to be resourceful and do the best you can, with what you have, what’s interesting with contracting is you get to experience many different industries, locations and approaches to working.

What impressed me was while a lot of people think tools, one of the best tools as a tester as far as I can see, is Microsoft Excel

While exploring the many functions excel has to offer, while doing data analysis, I was impressed how much more it does and how non testers, namely business people I would not normally sit next to use it, its applications, redefining what you think its capabilities are.

Tools can only do so much

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I’ve heard of how come actuary calculations take hours to compete and i also know the inventors of excel Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston in 1979 never cashed in on their idea

I remember reading of a call center that used HP Quality Center to manage their call center business and why not? It can be configured any way you like, all it takes is for someone to get the idea, and sometimes that’s all you need, Bear Grylls says all you need to survive is a good penknife and a water bottle, but that’s another story

Apparently, It comes in handy?

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It occurred while I have been learning automation testing, there is so much more I can learn, with existing applications, while configuring style sheet on a word document for a test plan, I saw how more complicated Microsoft word in fact is and it’s important to know these functions and to be able to do them properly.

But it’s interesting how often having good excel skills gets overlooked, you never see ‘Excellent excel data analysis’ in a job description, but when you are preparing data for a complex system, having good Excel skills comes in handy, ‘Trez important’ as the French would say!

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