What tool(s) would you use to generate a random list of 100 words?

Simple (and boring) Method

If you need a tool to do a specific job, you could create your own solution from scratch or you could find out if such a solution already exists. For this simple task, it is inevitable that a solution already exists and to find it all you need to do is a little quick googling.

The first result when googling ‘generate 100 random words’ was the following website:

https://www.randomlists.com/random-words

It provided the option to select a specific data set, quantity of words and decide if you want duplicate words or not. You then click the ‘rerun’ button, and a set of random words are generated for you.

First 20 of the 100 random words I generated

Some more interesting, creative and probably unnecessary solutions

Let’s assume that the above solution does not exist, then we’ll have no choice but to create our own solution. Here are a few crazy ideas:

  • Watch Countdown!
    Countdown is a British gameshow where contestants are given a list of letters and have to create the longest words possible using these letters. Might not be the most efficient method, but it will at least get us thinking and trying to solve the problem ourselves rather than just getting a program to create it for us.
  • Get a cat or dog to walk over the keyboard
    The task description didn’t say it had to be grammatically correct English words. The words could be random gibberish – so long as there are at least 50 spaces so we can separate each individual word.
  • Speak to my 18 month old niece
    The words don’t have to be in English, but they could be a whole new language. I’ve had many good conversations with my niece, which only makes sense to one of us.

Final Thoughts

Using an already created tool to complete a task will usually be the quickest and most efficient solution. However, there will be cases where there are no suitable tools available or there are issues associated with the tool that make it unsuitable. With a little out-of-the-box thinking, you and your team could identify some alternative solutions using new or existing tools. No idea is a stupid one – seemingly stupid ideas can still lead to the best available solution.

Further Reading

Ministry of Testing Club discussion page for Day 11. See other ideas (good and innovative) for generating 100 random words.