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Pragmatic Software Testing: Becoming an Effective and Efficient Test Professional Paperback – Feb 20 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (Feb. 20 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470127902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470127902
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 2 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #611,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

A hands-on guide to testing techniques that deliver reliable software and systems

Testing even a simple system can quickly turn into a potentially infinite task. Faced with tight costs and schedules, testers need to have a toolkit of practical techniques combined with hands-on experience and the right strategies in order to complete a successful project. World-renowned testing expert Rex Black provides you with the proven methods and concepts that test professionals must know. He presents you with the fundamental techniques for testing and clearly shows you how to select and apply successful strategies to test a system with budget and time constraints.

Black begins by discussing the goals and tactics of effective and efficient testing. Next, he lays the foundation of his technique for risk-based testing, explaining how to analyze, prioritize, and document risks to the quality of the system using both informal and formal techniques. He then clearly describes how to design, develop, and, ultimately, document various kinds of tests. Because this is a hands-on activity, Black includes realistic, life-sized exercises that illustrate all of the major test techniques with detailed solutions.

By the end of this book, you'll know more about the nuts and bolts of testing than most testers learn in an entire career, and you'll be ready to put those ideas into action on your next test project.

With the help of real-world examples integrated throughout the chapters, you'll discover how to:

  • Analyze the risks to system quality
  • Allocate your testing effort appropriately based on the level of risk
  • Choose the right testing strategies every time
  • Design tests based on a system's expected behavior (black box) or internal structure (white box)
  • Plan and perform integration testing
  • Explore and attack the system
  • Focus your hard work to serve the needs of the project

The author's companion Web site provides exercises, tips, and techniques that can be used to gain valuable experience and effectively test software and systems.

Wiley Technology Publishing Timely. Practical. Reliable.

Visit the author's Web site at

About the Author

Rex Black is a 20-plus-year software and systems engineering veteran, and President and Principal Consultant of RBCS, Inc., a leader in software, hardware, and systems testing. He is the author of Managing the Testing Process as well as numerous articles. Black is also President of both the International Software Testing Qualifications Board and the American Software Testing Qualifications Board.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I work as a Quality Assurance Analyst in the IT department of a medium sized financial institution. My supervisor saw this book listed on Amazon and decided it was worth purchasing for our work library. After having an initial read, she found it interesting enough to make it a topic for our department's book club. All members of our book club have a minimum of five years experience in quality assurance. We took turns each week summarizing a chapter and presenting it to the rest of the club. There was a good deal of relevant material, and we were able to apply some of the concepts to real life project testing. Especially useful was Part 2 - Risk Based Testing. We employed a risk-based testing approach with a major project that had tight deadlines and limited testing resources and implemented it on time and very successfully. Ironically, however, for a book on quality assurance we found quite a few typos scattered throughout the book. Unfortunately, some of these typos made it difficult to understand the examples he used to demonstrate certain concepts. Overall, I think the book was worth reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
OK But Nothing New Here Oct. 15 2007
By QAer - Published on
Format: Paperback
There is nothing wrong with this book but on the other hand there is nothing essential here that hasn't been covered thoroughly in several other books. I prefer Patton's "Software Testing" 2nd ed., for example, for principles and McCaffery's ".NET Test Automation" for code techniques. My advice is to compare the table of contents of several software testing books before you pick this book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Pragmatic Advice March 9 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after reading the reviews. I have not read it cover to cover, since I am using it as a ready reference in my medical device consulting practice. As such, it has proven its worth. Under one cover, it provides an overview of the most prevalent testing techniques and related subjects, including the very important (to me and my industry) issues of quality / risk-based testing (risk assessment, management, et al). It pulls in applicable standards (ISO, IEEE ...), and supplements narrative with appropriate graphics (diagrams, flow charts ...). As with all my reviews, I view a book as useful if it provides just a few immediately useful points for my understanding and my business. Pragmatic Software Testing by Rex Black supplies such points in abundance, and has become one of my top "go-to" references in product / production / test equipment software testing / verification and validation. Incidently, a scan of most of my reviews will show 4-5 stars. This is because I only choose to review what I consider useful publications I have read. I d/n bother "panning" those I d/n find useful -- and there are others I haven't yet read, of course.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A "must have" for your software testing library Feb. 28 2007
By J. A. McKay - Published on
Format: Paperback
If I could only buy one software testing book (or, more realistically, if I only had time to read one), this would be it. This is a practical guide with realistic, useful and immediately applicable techniques that save time, improve test quality and improve testing effectiveness. It's a must read for my department.