Friday, September 18, 2009

Tools

On my Mac OS X laptop, I'm currently running:
  • OS X (duh)
  • Debian Linux in a terminal
  • Windows 2003 Server in a CoRD (remote desktop) session
  • Windows XP in VMWare Fusion
I'm amused by the sheer number of underlying environments we encounter in a given day. (There's also my phone, my iPod, and probably many others I haven't even thought of.)

These are all just tools, and each is giving me something different. I'm using WinXP for Office because I like Windows Office better than Mac Office. I'm using Windows 2003 server as an AD domain controller (test domain in the office). I'm using Debian Linux for compiling our software. And I'm using OS X for mail, IM , and internet.

So here's my reminder to myself for the day: we don't really get to be zealots about tools. We have to be able to work with a lot of different tools and a lot of different systems because our customers do. Our customers use Linux and AIX and Windows. Our customers use AD and they use NIS. Our customers use Firefox and Safari and IE. So we get to give a lot of those a shot.

The chance to play with all these toys - I mean, tools - is one of my favorite parts of being a tester. Find 'em, learn 'em, use 'em. An experienced tester gets a pretty big toolbox, and I think that's a lot of fun.

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