You Can Become a Toolsmith Too! - Matthew Bretten

You Can Become a Toolsmith Too! - Matthew Bretten


With testers becoming embedded in development teams and those teams adopting practices such as DevOps, Continuous Delivery and Lean Agile, the need to create tools to assist testing becomes ever more important. Anything you can do to speed up your testing and build a greater understanding of code, architecture and systems can be very beneficial. While developers are sometimes better specialised to help build tools, they are not always particularly motivated to learn the technologies that are more beneficial to testing. Its therefore very handy to build your own skills in learning to use more technical tools and coding to build your own tools or bend them to your needs.

In this talk I hope to share my experiences coming into testing as a competent programmer, the challenging testing situations I have faced and how I've created or used tools to assist my testing. These range from the common tools such as Postman, Selenium, browser dev tools and server logs to the more bespoke or specific examples such as data generators for message queues, automating SIP phone calls and complex data queries against tech such as Elasticsearch. From my experiences teaching and mentoring, I also hope to share my observations of the challenges of learning programming, the common stumbling blocks and tips and tricks for getting started.


  • Plenty of ideas for tools they could create or aspects of testing they could automate in future.
  • A feeling that programming is something they can learn and isn't as scary as it may seem.
  • Encouragement that they absolutely have a place in a very technical environment and there are plenty of ways they can be useful and adapt.