I am testing a product that requires each "client" to have a unique identifier. The more "clients" I want to get into the product/application, the more identifiers I need to have and none of them can be duplicated. For whatever reason, the mind (or the fingers) have a tendency to continue to gravitate toward certain numbers. One of the testers that I work with created a simple test tool to generate these unique identifiers for us. This has inspired me to look for other instances where a simple tool could same me time in testing and to learn to build them myself.

While I did, at one point, take a programming course, it was some time ago; and I took it to better understand the products/applications that I test not to build anything. I have decided to take some classes again and I am not sure which programming language I will take. I am not sure what tools I may want to build to help speed up my own testing, but I figure once I begin to understand the language I will be able to see opportunities for tools while I am testing.

So I was wondering, do you build your own tools to help you in your testing efforts?

If so, do you have a favorite programming language that you use that has benefitted you in building tools for your own personal testing arsenal?

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I'm programming quite a lot of scripts for QA and testing activieties. They can be anything - starting from the test driver (integrated to build system), tools to simplify code inspection, to calculate memory usage, simplify reporting etc. My background is at development, so it is very easy to start programming something.

My favorite languages... different Unix shell scripts (bash usually), sed, perl, python sometimes, Java. Anything else goes also.
I have often thought about going in house builtfor test tools but my worries are maintenance.

What if its not working right in the middle of a test cycle?
Will I get time to maintain it?
My other biggest problem is taking on developer based syndromes of "it's my baby and it works fine. (Not meaning to sound like all develpers are like this)

In my way of thinking I would be happy for developers to build me a tool (Such as defect tracking or test case management) but I would only be involved in testing it to make sure it does what is required.

I live by the old "how many testers does it take to change a light bulb" joke

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