Please find below a collection of publicly available tools that I find valuable for QA/Test Engineers, either for Performance Testing or UI Test automation. These tools have been passed around internally on the MSFT Test Team, some of them for years. Most of them cover a tiny niche and thus can be considered a bit buried or obscure, but if they are what you need, they can help you.
BUILD QUALITY CHECKS
(First reported by Bernhard Vogel)
Using Azure DevOps "Build Quality Checks“ tasks, you can easily control that the quality steadily goes up from build to build. There are various smart metrics to use, i.e. compare test coverage of the previous build with the current build and if it trends down > fail the build.
The Build Quality Checks task currently supports two policies (click the link for details):
Warnings Policy - Allows you to fail builds based on the number of build warnings.
This tool allows you to record a selected area of your screen and save it as a Gif.
I have to share out this very cool tool called ScreenToGif that was shown to me by a couple of TAMs in the UK. It allows you to record your actions on screen and turn them into awesome animated gifs. I could see this being incredibly useful for tutorials, repros, and demos.
You can share animated gifs on Twitter/Yammer and other social networks.
Record your screen and save directly to a gif looped animation.
Pause and continue to record.
Move the window around to record what you want.
You can add Text, Subtitles, and Title Frames.
Edit the frames, add filters, revert, make yoyo style, change frame delay, add a border, add progress bars.
Crop and Resize.
You can work even while the program is recording.
Remove frames that you don't want.
Select a folder to save the file automatically or select one before encoding.
Add the system cursor to your recording.
Very small-sized, portable, and multi-language executable.
Start/Pause and stop your recording using your F keys.
It is very common to come across query string parameters that have a HUGE number assigned to them. You look around forever and do not find a solution.
One VERY COMMON source of these seemingly odd numbers is a value referred to as Unix Time. The next time you are trying to see if that number you are trying to parameterize is the Unix time you can find the current one at a very cool site.
Convert milliseconds to date - UNIX timestamp - UTC. Leap seconds: Leap seconds are one-second adjustments added to the UTC to synchronize it with solar time.
(By Edwin Hernandez)
There are some tools used by developers and QA Engineers to do debugging of application, either on the front end or backend as well as the communications between them. These are not so obscure, these are known tools that you may already use, but just in case I wanted to include them on this list:
Wireshark. Packet analyzer for network traffic debugging
Fiddler. Http traffic debugger that uses a proxy to look at communication coming in and out of a host.
DebugDiag. Assists in troubleshooting issues such as hangs, slow performance, memory leaks or memory fragmentation, and crashes in any user-mode process.
PerfView. Performance-analysis tool that helps isolate CPU and memory-related performance issues. It is a Windows tool, but it also has some support for analyzing data collected on Linux machines. It works for a wide variety of scenarios but has several special features for investigating performance issues in code written for the .NET runtime.
And update on an old tool:
WinDbg Preview. Multipurpose debugger for Windows that can be used to debug kernel-mode and user-mode code, analyze crash dumps, and examine the CPU registers while the code executes. Microsoft just updated WinDbg to have more modern visuals, faster windows, a full-fledged scripting experience, and Time Travel Debugging. WinDbg Preview is using the same underlying engine as WinDbg, so all the commands, extensions, and workflows still work.