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Testing Computer Software Paperback – Apr 26 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (April 26 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471358460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471358466
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #225,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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The original printing of Testing Computer Software set the standard for the emerging field of test engineering with a full tour of the state of the art in managing the testing process. The reissued text makes this classic out-of-print text available once again. Though it relies heavily on older examples (including MS-DOS) and has not been updated, this text is still a worthwhile resource for practical-minded advice on the realities of testing.

The best thing about Testing Computer Software is its practical point-by-point guide to everyday software testing, from creating a test plan, to writing effective bug reports, to working with programming staff and management to fix bugs.

That said, this book's early frame of reference shows how far we've come. (The book relies heavily on MS-DOS examples and features some truly embarrassing anachronisms, including the mention of testing dot-matrix printers and even EGA/VGA video modes.) The bibliography stops at sources from 1992 and features many references from the 1980s. Nowadays, automated software testing tools are the staple of any testing strategy. This book even advocates a wait-and-see approach to the "new" Microsoft Test.

These limitations aside, there is still a good deal to mine here. Much of the approach to testing is still very valid for any aspiring or working test engineer. Clearly, readers of the first edition will have little reason to upgrade to this second edition, but for anyone who appreciates a "classic" (and indeed a pioneering) text in the field of software testing, it's good to have Testing Computer Software in print again. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: test case design, test planning, project lifecycle overview, software errors, boundary conditions, bug reports, regression testing, black box testing, software quality and reliability, managing test teams, printer testing, internationalization, and managing legal risk.


"I enjoyed reading Testing computer software. The text contains numerous highlights Offering practical advice, authoritative figures you can cite to customers and higher management, and entertaining anecdotes to share with coworkers Although some sections need updating, I still think it is a valuable training and reference source for software testers, managers, and developers." --Diomidis Spinellis; IEEE software magazine (May /June 2001))

"Deep insight and a great deal of experience is contained in this book" (Database & Network Journal, Vol 30/5 2000)

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Format: Paperback
When I first read this book over eight years ago I was less than enthusiastic. At the time I felt that the approach was not rigorous enough. Over time I came to appreciate the pragmatism and how the approach in this book reflects the realities of software testing instead of a rigid, purist view as an unattainable ideal.
Everything the new or intermediate test professional needs to know is covered. The practices and techniques provided will foster sound QA practices and will step you through developing test strategies, and from those, developing and executing test cases. These are the real essence of testing, and this book covers them exceptionally well.
I like the coverage of testing systems and artifacts that are not software - documentation, hardware, and localization testing advice shows that testing is not limited to software. As importantly, the chapter on legal consequences of software defects will show testing in a perspective that is often overlooked, even by seasoned test professionals.
If you are new to software testing, or have some experience, but no formal training, this book will provide you with the right way to approach software testing, and will give insights that would take years to learn on your own.
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Format: Paperback
Suddenly thrust into a QA management position after a decade in software technical writing, I scrambled to find good information about the task before me. I have some familiarity with the software QA process after this many years in the industry, and was therefore very surprised that this book does *not* cover some topics I had hoped to find, such as smoke testing and negative testing.
This book makes some assertions about process that actually vary from company to company. This could confuse those inexperienced in the software industry. For example, the book says that as software nears Alpha test, the "documentation plan is probably ready for review." Where I work, the the *documentation itself* better be substantially complete by Alpha test, or there's no hope of the documentation shipping with the product.
The chapter on testing documentation misses the mark, as well, focusing heavily on user manuals. Traditional user manuals are decreasingly common as usage information moves online. The book barely discusses online help and overlooks embedded user assistance and electronic performance support tools.
Finally, I wish this book had been organized in a more expository manner. Chapters are loosely grouped by general subject. I had hoped to begin reading on page one and let the book teach me about testing. Instead, this book seems to be better suited for use as a reference guide when I need information about a particular subject. Given that I have not found information about some subjects, as I mentioned earlier, my confidence in this book's ability to help me is very low.
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Format: Paperback
I've had the 2nd edition for about 7 years and still enjoy re-reading this book. Sure, the examples are getting dated now, but in some ways that makes it more interesting (the description of how to populate a printer test room by begging demo printers from the manufacturers always makes me smile). But don't be misled - the core text and concepts are absolutely as relevant today as they ever were.
Software testing and quality can be SUCH dry subjects, but the authors do a wonderful job of bringing them to life. This is a very practical book in the sense that testing processes are described from the point of view of someone who has tried almost everything and knows which approaches are great in theory vs those which actually work. Unlike many others, the book doesn't skirt around human resources issues (such as internal politics, motivation and staff retention) but tackles them head on in the last chapter (it really is worth reading cover-to-cover!).
It is not really a step-by-step instruction manual, more a series of ideas and tips bound together by a coherent story. Us readers really need to think about the topic and work out for ourselves which aspects to apply. That said, some parts are more like a cookbook - there's a good description of a bug tracking process, for example, with some example bug reporting forms and, as always, some excellent advice about cooking your own.
Testing Computer Software has been a great help to me in my role as a computer auditor dealing with numerous application development groups.
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Format: Paperback
Testing Computer Software is one of the those rare books that has taken on the problems of the Verification Engineer. As all of us know, most books written today are targeted for the development audience and even many of these are either poorly written or try to cover too much area. This book however, though broad in its scope, does a good job of treating all of the important areas in verification and testing.
I have found Chapters 2, 3, 7, 11 and 12 to be the most useful and poignant to the average engineer. Not only is each chapter well laid out, but the authors also offer compelling arguments in each chapter to back up their arguments as well. I enjoyed particularly Chapter 3 the section on Path Testing, which conjures up horror stories from my development days. In this section the authors assert that 100% path testing does not imply 100% test coverage. They go on to argue with some rigor why the two are not necessarily the same. Many of you as I can probably claim that though all of the paths in their code were tested, verification was still able to find some condition that would make some part of the code fail. This chapter explains why this may be so and methodologies on how to attack testing those areas.
You will find the book well structured, informative and actually intuitive to navigate through. Each chapter builds on the previous chapters to provide the engineer with a clear idea of all the steps and intricacies involved in testing and verifying complex programs. It can therefore be used by the beginner as a source book for specific test applications, or by the team lead or manager who needs to know more about the actual scope and planning of a complex testing project. This book surely fills a great void in the area of publications software verification.
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