Debugging help for beginners in QA

When you are debugging, your “browser developer tools” (i.e. Chrome Developer tools and Firefox Web Developer Tools) will come in handy as well. However, if you are fairly new to debugging you should know that different tools have their advantages depending on the product that you are debugging. So for effectiveness you should always have more than one option. I encourage you to do additional research on each tool and test it to the fullest extent.

Below is my Hotlist for your debugging enjoyment:

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Fiddler’s features include but are not limited to the following:

Web Debugging
Performance Testing
HTTP/HTTPS Traffic Recording
Web Session Manipulation
Security Testing
Customize of Fiddler by adding your own rules via Javascript and more

Fiddler proxy works with both Desktop and Mobile. At the time of writing this article I have not currently utilized the mobile proxy for Fiddler. I’ve only used it for Desktop testing. When I initially started using Fiddler it was for Online Ad testing.


Charles’ features include but are not limited to the following:

SSL and HTTPS support
Records all traffic between your browser and the Internet
Reveals the contents of all requests, responses, cookies, and headers
Simulates slower internet connections
Charles is also configurable as users can add and customize rules

Charles proxy is available for Desktop and Mobile. I’ve utilized it with both. In regards to mobile for Android vs iOS. I’ve often been able to set up with ease on iOS. However, Android often takes me a few tries. Charles is actually one of my favorite tools no matter what I am testing.


Firebug’s feature include but are not limited to:

Inspecting and editting html

Tweaking css

Monitoring network activity

Debugging and profiling javascript

Exploring the DOM

I’ve utilized Firebug for Website testing. Initially when firebug was developed it was only enabled for Firefox. Now there is a Chrome addon as well.


Omnibug is an addon for both Firefox and Chrome that allows extensive debugging of web metrics implementations. Omnibug supports about 18 different tracking implementations. Which includes WebTrends, Quantcast, Google Analytics and more. One of my favorite features of Omnibug is how it breaks down the UTM (Urchin Traffic Monitor) codes for Google Analytics.


ObservePoint is a debugging tool used to inspect web analytics tags, variables, and on-click events and more. I’ve utilized this tool for WebTrends and Google Analytics and have had great results.

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is an amazing tool. There aren’t many things this tool does not do. You can check for canonical tags, broken images, it behaves as a sitemap generator, checks for metatags and much more.

This list of tools can be used to debug a mixture of the following:

Desktop and Mobile Websites

Online Third Party Ads (i.e Atlas, Dart, Pointroll and more)

Web and Mobile Applications

Tracking Tags (i.e Google Analytics, WebTrends and more)

Video Players (Standalone and Integration Testing)