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Software Testing Foundations: A Study Guide for the Certified Tester Exam Paperback – Feb 2 2007
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About the Author
Andreas Spillner is a professor of Computer Science in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Hochschule Bremen (University of Applied Sciences), where he is responsible for software engineering, quality assurance, and programming. He was a founding member and is now an honorary member of the German Testing Board e.V., and he was founder and chair of the German Special Interest Group on Software Testing (SIGIST, "Test, Analyse und Verifikation von Software") from 1990 to 2003. Prof. Spillner was appointed Fellow of the German Informatics Society (GI-Fellow) in 2007.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The difficulty about a testing book is that it will be read by testers, trained to find faults as part of our role in life. This book may to be aimed at the non-English, European market place, following its origins. Some of the translation is `interesting', and is more literal than catching the meaning of the words, so can read in a stilted fashion. Annoyingly, there is reference to `chapters' in the chapter on techniques, when it clearly means `sections' or part-chapters. The discussion of the value of a certified tester in chapter 6 would be better in the introductory chapter 1.
Spillner, Linz and Schaefer are well respected in the testing community, and have written a book that covers the syllabus. However, it is not greatly geared towards the examination; although there are revision questions, these are neither multiple choice, nor are the answers provided. There are also areas where there is significant extension beyond the syllabus content (standards is a case in point - and can probably be correctly attributed to a specific one of the authors).
There is a good glossary of testing terms, and the text clearly identifies items that appear in the glossary. It is useful to not only have web links, but also to specify when the web links were known to be valid. I found the use of a case study that runs throughout the book to be helpful. There are some key thoughts that are well worth remembering; one for me was "Robustness has its costs".
Strangely, I would say that there is both too much code (pseudo-code) present, and too little. It is perfectly possible to pass the ISTQB examination with little or no knowledge of how to read or write code, and references to code in early chapters could have non-coders pressing the panic button. Conversely, any discussion of structural test techniques should have examples of code, as exams routinely have code-based questions concerning techniques. The treatment of statement testing was somewhat shallow, with the cases where there are `empty' branches and non-empty branches barely distinguished. However, the coverage of when to use particular techniques was good and comprehensive.
Discussion in an early chapter postulates determining whether a set is code is ready to exit a particular stage of testing by examining the number of incidents raised per testing hour. It even suggests than when down below 2, it may be time to ship. This is a good notion, but I suspect the numbers are out by some way. To be still finding 2 incidents per testing hour, even on very large, complex systems, would indicate to me that the product is NOT ready for shipping. Additionally, the treatment of cyclomatic complexity is adequate, but this useful measurement is only calculated one way, not using the alternatives that are available (the most straightforward being `the number of decisions + 1').
There is a lot of material covered, and in some places, this appears rather list-like in appearance, unclear when lists are contained in the syllabus, and when not. It is better to say that the book assists candidates in preparation for the ISTQB Foundation, rather than being a direct aid as the sole point of reference. Read it take good things from it and mind the short-comings, but do not use it as your only testing book.
Peter Morgan, Bath, UK (email@example.com)
1) it states that this book is "A study guide for the Certified Tester Exam." no it is not.
2) it states that the book is, "ISTQB compliant." compatible would be more accurate.
definitely a good introduction to the subject, but not organized as a study guide, and many explanations are slightly off-kilter from the ISTQB syllabus and glossary. Also, has a lot of vague explanations that are too top-level, and uses the same annoying and not real-world example software application throughout the book.
Lest anyone think this is sour grapes, i did pass the test with a good score but as the test date approached, I used this book less and less, relying on other better organized materials.
To be honest, I've been testing for many years and my study was more for refresher and terminology. This book provided a great overview and good preparation for the ISTQB Foundation Level certification exam.
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