What's the biggest influencer for tool choice?

When it comes to deciding on a new tool, there can be a number of deciding factors at play.

What’s the biggest influencer on your decision when it comes to tool choice?

  • Price
  • Documentation available
  • Ease of use
  • A community for the product
  • Other (please explain below)

0 voters

Tool selection is mostly a mix of “fit for purpose” vs price - with the other options as bonus points. If the tool is the absolute best fit, the price doesn’t matter … that much. A cheap and less capable tool might seen interesting in the short run, but not in the long run.

It’s like: You’re car is broken down. You need to buy a new one. Would you prefer a brand new expensive car with bluetooth and all the latest conveniences - or just any old second hand one?

  • +Usability for the team.

I’ve found many tools/frameworks fit for purpose which were free or the same price but the team wouldn’t want to work with it due to it being complicated or didn’t want to learn anything new.


Depends on so many factors:

  • is it for company use, personal use, team/department use?
  • what’s the cost of the tool at the time (setup, purchase, use, be comfortable, reach the task goal)?
  • is there an extended goal for the tool? is there an opportunity now to discuss a longer term usage of a particular tool?

For example:

  • for personal use, I’d never buy tools; I am dealing just fine with free tools.
  • for the team - we debate tools used for the same purpose from various people; someone wins the debate or we end up using separate tools for personal use; if there’s a cost involved we try to get to a common tool;

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How much of my “checklist of requirements” it ticks off. A tool can be brilliant on all of the above, but if it doesn’t do what I need it to do, it ain’t makin’ the cut.

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Similar thoughts to what has already been said. “It depends on the problem and tool itself”. But generally I choose open source (work in public sector, and that’s preferred), and want something that’s got good documentation.

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My main concerns:

  • Ease of use & flexibility.
    Help me to simplify my testing process, but also give me flexibility to add my own solutions when your tool does not meet my needs.

  • Can I easily migrate to or away from the tool?
    If I have several thousand tests, then I need a way to easily move to your solution, and also away from it. Don’t convert my work/tests into some proprietary format or obscure form which will prevent me from moving away from your product.

  • Documentation & training material.
    My expectations - Free beginner friendly tutorials, Paid/free tutorials with realistic use cases (no hello world or foo bar) and affordable advanced tutorials. Big red flags - You only/mostly have expensive training which costs thousands of dollars and basic training is too expensive.

  • Closely matches my needs.
    I don’t want any major features which I don’t need now or I am unlikely to need in the future. Your tool might have too many features to appeal to big companies or different kinds of companies. But those features might be useless to me. I don’t want to pay for all that extra stuff.

  • Support.
    Your support staff should understand the tool and fix problems in reasonable amount of time.

The price is a small concern as long as the tool solves significant problems and we get value for money. Bonus points for an active and growing community (forums, stack overflow etc.) for the tool. The community should be public & not hidden behind some paywall.

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Thank you everyone for your votes and insight so far :grinning:

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