"Bridging the communication gap" by Gojko Adzic is a much needed book on a very important topic that finally is deserving the attention it needs: Agile acceptance testing. This practice is also known as "automated acceptance testing" or as "acceptance-test-driven development." It has evolved over the last decade, but was known and used in a relative small group. Every year there would be a couple papers on the topic, Lasse Koskela covered it a bit in his "Test-Driven" but now finally Gojko takes the subject further and devotes a whole book on it.
What is it? Agile Acceptance Testing is a technique for closing the communication gap between business, developers and testers. A way to write specifications as examples which become executable. The specification are created together in a workshop and not handed over like traditional requirements.
The book is written in four parts. The first part is an introduction to the topic, describes an overview of the technique. An important part of this part (and the whole book) is the focus on communication instead of test. This is reflected in the excellent discussion about naming. Agile Acceptance Testing is perhaps one of the most poorly named practices, but... still... thats the name it became popular with (or with A-TDD). The second part is the most important parts of the book, which describes how to write specifications, why to work with examples, how to run specification workshops and what to do after these workshops. The part ends with a discussion about change in projects and how the automated acceptance test help with that.
The third part discusses implementation. It starts with how to fit this technique in an iteration and how to adopt the practice. Next is a chapter on user stories and its relationship with acceptance tests. Then the part dives in the tools by first covering the current tools and then discussing the requirements for the future tools. The last part of the book describes the impact of agile acceptance testing on the different functions: business analyst, developer and tester.
Bridging the Communication Gap is a small book (300 pages) and is easy to read. It could have been smaller, the writing is sometimes a little too wordy. It doesn't contain too much pictures, which is too bad when a book talks so much about workshops. Yet, despite these drawbacks, I think this is an excellent book and a much needed contribution to the modern software development/agile development literature. It was one of the few practices that did not have its own book yet and Gojko provided that.
I was doubting between 4 and 5 stars for this review. 4 because this book is certainly not perfect. 5 stars because it is good still. Because this is a first in a new area and because I consider this an important area, I decided to go for 5 stars. This will certainly be a book that I will be recommending to other people (and in fact, I already have). Great work Gojko!