The Silver Bullet - a tools tale

Hey, hand me that hammer, I need to drive in some screws - no, not the hammer that cuts wood, the other one, the hammer that you use for screws

Tools are usefull, needed, but only if you choose the right tool and use it correctly you'll fully benefit from it!

Tools, I love tools. Some would claim that I'm a bit of a tool fetischist. I love my impact driver, my miter saw, my torque wrench and all of the other faboulous tools that I have - all of them purpose bought after a thorough selection process, all because I had a need for that specific tool, or as an upgrade of an existing tool.

Do we do the same when selecting our software tools? Do all of my tools make me a carpenter, a mechanic, a plumber or an electrician? No, not at all.

Therefore I have selected the tools that will help me with the tasks that I know I master, nothing else. I don't know how many times have I been asked the questions; "What tool should we use for X", "What is the best test automation tool"? My answer is almost always "I don't know - that depends", Like stated, I'm not a carpenter, but I'm pretty good at crafting stuff with wood, but I also know my limitations, and that for a lot of things a professional is needed.

Which brings me on to another question I've been asked multiple times; "We want to test automate! we don't have any dedicated testers, we need to free up the time the business people use on testing" My answer; "Tool? You don't need a tool, you need test professionalism". Why is it that so many organizations thinks that a tool is a silver bullet that will solve all problems? And why do so many tool projects go wrong? Why is it so hard to choose the right one? Should you at all go for a tool? What needs to be in place before you invest in a tool?

In this talk I will address all of these questions and give you a method to make it more certain that you choose the right tool for the right task and implements it succesfully.