My top four Chrome extensions for software testers

A few weeks ago, I shared my favourite tools to aid me with my software testing activities. I created that post to not only document the software that I find helpful. But to also shine a light on packages that might be unknown to some people and to promote discussion of alternative solutions.

As I mentioned in that post. A tool’s purpose is to only help you be productive in a task. It’s not a magic bullet and if you don’t know how to do something. The tool won’t be able to do it for you.

One key software product that I missed out from that list is probably the most frequently used item in many testers toolboxes, which is the web browser.

Although I am a Firefox user outside of testing. The browser share is significantly in Google Chrome’s favour and even though it is still a major browser. Chrome is still my testing tool of choice for 90% of my daily tasks.

In this post, I will go through some of my favourite extensions which when enabled. Turn it into my ultimate testing web browser ?

Nimbus Screenshot & Screen Video Recorder

If you aren’t attaching screen recordings to the bug reports that you raise. Please start doing so. Not only will developers love you for it, as they will see the exact actions that you are taking. But they are also really handy with relooking at your past bug reports and rediscovering the context in which they occurred.

I’ve previously used a few extensions to add the ability of screen recording to the Chrome web browser, and each one either lacked features that I was hoping for. Or just didn’t perform as well as I needed. But since I started using Nimbus. I haven’t looked at any other.

Some key abilities that I love in this extension include the standard features, like recording your entire browser tab or desktop screen. But also the ability to add sound via a microphone, upload the video to Dropbox or Google, add a watermark or record your webcam if needed.

Not just an extension for screen recordings, this add-on can also take screenshots and comes with some extensive annotation features.

Filly: form filler & team collaboration

If you are working on a software project that has multiple forms to fill out. You probably familiar with the problem of having to fill out the same one multiple times.

This simple extension takes the pain away and allows you to save the form for later use.

You can even assign it to a hotkey if you want to make things even faster!

Clear Cache

Clearing the cache of your browser when testing a web application should be second nature to software testers. Not only are cached resources the likely cause for old bugs still be present after they have been fixed. But it’s also just a good practise starting a testing session on a fresh slate.

The purpose of this one is pretty self-explanatory. And although the same ability can be found within the menu system of Chrome itself with no requirement for another extension. Having a handy button sat in your toolbar to clear the cache of your browser when needed is such a timesaver.

UI.Vision RPA

I probably don’t use this one to its full abilities, and I’m sure there are alternatives out there. But the context in which this tool fits into my testing activities saves me so much time that it makes it one to recommend to others looking to speed up their workflow.

Let’s say you need to go through a browser process only a handful of times per month, but the nature of the task means that you take 30+ minutes to complete. It’s not something you look forward to and even though you’re sure it can be automated. It just isn’t worth spending the time to whip up a Selenium script.

Simply Install this browser extension and use the built-in record feature to create your automated task, fully editable and sharable with others.

It’s obviously not a robust solution, the code it produces can be questionable and I’ve found execution can be a little slow. But for those tasks where you need an automated process so you are free to focus on something else. This extension is perfect.

What Chrome extensions are you using? Are there any alternatives to the ones listed here that you’re a fan of? Post them in the comments below!

I hope this blog post was useful to you.

Reach out to me on LinkedIn or Twitter if you have questions. Or contact me using my contact form.

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Posted by Kevin Tuck

Kevin Tuck is an ISTQB qualified software tester with nearly a decade of professional experience. Well versed in creating versatile and effective testing strategies. He offers a variety of collaborative software testing services. From managing your testing strategy, creating valuable automation assets, or serving as an additional resource.

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