Share a tool that you use one way in one context and another way in a different context – 30 Days of Tools, Day 14

Enjoy Day 14 of the 30 Days of Tools challenge. Context is important and it influences how we use a tool.

Share a tool that you use one way in one context and another way in a different context

  • What is it about one context which makes you use it in such a way, compared to the other context?
  • Is there any cross-over regardless of context?
  • How does context influence your use of the same tool?

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A mind map is a versatile tool for me:


I honestly think this is a hard question. I can’t come to think of a tool that I use for multiple contexts.
I would be able to say JMeter for performance tests & functional API tests, but we don’t use it for functional API tests… :stuck_out_tongue:
We also use Postman for API tests but for monitoring we use different tools.

Looking forward to other peoples answers to this.


For example we use the test automation framework we have created initially for E2E API testing across multiple backend micro-services. In addition to that we use the same framework to:

  1. Generate any test data from your machine locally using the libraries we’ve built for speeding up manual testing whenever you want to have some specific state for a user or the system
  2. Generate test users and data for our crowdsourced testers and operations automatically who gives us feedback every 2 weeks
  3. Use the test data generation part over a REST API for our frontend UI tests which enables to do certain test data setup not possible via public APIs.
  4. We’ve used it to generate a moderate amount of load

I feel like Charles can be a good example.

We use it for intercepting network requests but we also use it to completely build out a mock server equivalent for our client apps. And these are shared across the team via a shared repo.

Another example which kinda fits in is the open api-generator.

We use it to create our base api test framework and test data generators but the developers use it to create api clients for their respective platforms. We have been advocating for it across the board and has helped immensely in adding value by providing consistency across teams.


Uh, this is a tough question. I think any tool which has multiple uses associated to it, such as Postman (it’s one of the tools I use the most). Most people use it for testing, but it can be used for monitoring, creating documentation, developing APIs, visualize data. I hope I didn’t misunderstand this question.

Hmmm, I guess my multi-functional tool could be Miro.
I used it so far for:

  • Outlining the testing strategy to a customer. Putting our testing on a map so to say.
  • Running internal talks and workshops about testing and other topics. As think it is more flexible to me than a usual slide deck. (Thanks to all the folks, who have done this before me, and have been a great source of inspiration)
  • Keeping notes for a particular topic, to support the creation process of the above-mentioned talks and workshops. At the moment I am prepping a bigger topic for several weeks together with a colleague. The visualization and easy to arrange mechanism make it very easy to collaborate. Also if I am not sure how to do it, swapping around the frames of content, attaching sticky notes. Help me very much.

Oh and I almost forgot. I am using an internal tool. Initially designed to grab the build artifacts and place them onto the desired machine. Over time, the tool evolved and can now download files, and run the installation of the SUT too.


The tool I use with the most different context is Jira with Zephyr plugin (it is like xray) I use it as team board, bug reporting, test case writing, test execution,… But I suppose it is not the question?!

I have two usages of jenkins: one when I develop automation tests and another when I do some manual testing.
For automation: are the logs ok? How long does it take to be finished?
For manual testing: what is the build number with this commit?
For both: is the build green?


When working with developers it generates great discussion points on Code Complexity and Code Coverage.

When working with Testers it gives insights into what we could be testing that are low in Unit Test Coverage that we could spend more time on and provide some synergies with the team writing code.

When discussing Quality with the Leadership team I outline opportunities from a strategic standpoint that would improve quality and productivity.

It is a change of audience to a significant degree, so maybe not exactly context as the initial question may have inferred :slight_smile:


Good question!

I think I would have to say We use it in many different contexts. Initially started using it for purely frontend testing as we could easily mock/intercept API requests.

We now use it for full E2E and functional API testing, connecting to Oracle and Postgres databases to create and assert data. It’s great for writing up bug reports too with the screenshot and screen record capabilities!


General tools/things, not testing related, that I found to make a huge difference in how productive at work and outside work that work best when using in conjuction with one another:

  • Notable - that is I usually start putting ideas together into rought drafts and general note taking, list making etc. Markdown is pretty neat.
  • Trello - it is just so useful, anything from New Year resolutions, tools to investigate to 5 minute tasks, all can be stored and tracked in there.

I use shareX mostly for videos and screeshots for bug reports and comments under the ticket. But it has this really nice OCR function where you can select text on any screeshot and it transfers it to real text, works quite well with English and when I want to use text from someones screenshot I use it.

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Share a tool that you use one way in one context and another way in a different context

I got blocked on this one, I couldn’t come up with an answer.

The closest thing I can think of is Slack, which has become a real catch all tool for a lot of things we do.

It’s a chat or collaboration tool but, for me

  • Video chat is better in Slack than any other tool I have access to right now. The quality and reliability are better, and you can draw on the screenshare without any kind of plugin - so easy.
  • Slack huddles are great for simulating the ‘in office’ environment while we’re in lockdown. Sometimes my team will just sit in a huddle, without saying a lot, but just knowing we have company means something.
  • Slack has replaced email for me, in many ways
  • Integrating with other tooling is key - alerts, deployment notifications, test failures - all come in to Slack, through workflows, bots or other means.

It almost is a substitute for a bunch of other tools. So, maybe you could say I use it in the context of “async communications (email)” and also in the context of “video chat”, and also in the context of “monitoring and alerting”.


Richard and I got together to discuss this challenge on our live stream:


Hands down, Slack. So many integrations allow us to use commands to deploy code, set reminders, post updates, search prior discussions when troubleshooting, ask questions, share resources, connect via IM, huddles or using the Trivia app to start water cooler discussions or trivia quizzes.