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outside of HP
I hear About tools such as jira and jenkins. Im starting to look these products up on google searches. Is there a good place that is keeping track of these tools so I can read about them in one place?
I don't think you can keep up with all the tools you need in one place, you just have to do a bit of reading every day. QA Engineers / SDETs are expected to know a little bit about everything, we probably spend about 40% of their time doing research in the following areas:
Test Planning, Defect Management (Jira), Build and Continuous Integration (Jenkins), System Deployment, Database management, and Test Automation (which can happen at different layers, unit, integration, end-to-end). We are in a way mini software architects.
Best place is document section in the tool in context.
Napoleon born little early otherwise it will be clear that covering tools ( or language) is not possible.
Better to focus on the most admired features of the particular tool ( and why other lacks that). I think 4-5 tool will be suffice for that in one domain.
QTP - Best marketing and easy to start
RFT - Early test automation master piece , Java based comprehensive integration and UI test tool. Mired with IBM bureaucracy and so on...
TestPartner - Sibling of QTP (VBA) but lacks the political stability of supported organization
Selenium - underdog stole everyone's share. but lack on technologies and support.
So now various aspect of testing with different tool can be analyse...
Sad RFT hasn't been keeping up with the times. I do like how they have a fairly open platform based on Java/.NET. If you're good with C# .Net, you can create custom object proxies to support controls that might not other wise be supported. This is great for programs that have custom made controls created by the developers. (Since not everything is a simple windows form object) There's also a robust market place for 3rd party automation proxies you can buy to support various 3rd party controls. Makes RFT easier to automate applications using 3rd party UI libraries than QTP or Silk. QTP/UFT however has many add-ons that could support other popular UI libraries like Infragistics, but if there isn't an add-on created by HP, then you're sort of dead in the water.
I wouldn't say Selenium is an underdog. From the very beginning it's being used to test some of the world's largest software deployments like in Google, Facebook, and Saleforce. Most large scale web testing is probably being done using either Selenium of Canoo Webtest, and increasingly with PhantomJS
What capabilities do you need to apply? Are you testing just the UI or do you need to also analyze the code?
You might look at Parasoft SOAtest because it creates, maintains and executes end-to-end cloud, SOA, and API testing scenarios. API Testing, Cloud Testing, SOA Testing
If you also need a development management and tool integration platform, you can also look at Parasoft Concerto. It integrates with your existing software quality infrastructure and centralizes planning, monitoring and task management.
In full disclosure, I do work for the company but would be happy to answer any additional questions you might have.