Aimed at the working test manager or test engineer, the second edition of William Perry's Effective Methods for Software Testing is one of the most rigorous guides to software testing available. This book provides the latest in standards for measuring how good your organization's commitment to software testing is and many ways to improve it. In all, with its numerous lists and practical step-by-step guide to testing, this book points the way toward more economical and effective software testing.
This book's major strength is its meticulous 11-step guide to all aspects of today's software testing process--from initial analysis and test planning to testing software installation and looking at ways to improve the testing cycle the next time around. The book is filled with to-do lists that enumerate the resources and tasks required for each step with helpful hints for what to do, how to work with management, and how to staff and execute a test plan from start to finish. (There is a chapter devoted to each of the 11 steps.) The text also incorporates the latest in testing standards from the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI), and the author does a good job of integrating testing with today's iterative software methodologies. Another standout here is a look at software tools and how they can simplify the testing process.
Review By: Vivek Vaishampayan 01/04/2008This book is mainly useful as a standard textbook in curriculums that include software testing courses. The emphasis in most chapters is on building the competency of the software tester. Most chapters use the Common Body Of Knowledge (CBOK) for the Certified Software Tester (CSTE) designation offered by Software Certifications (http://www.SoftwareCertifications.org) and administered by Quality Assurance Institute (http://www.qaiusa.com/). This book is mainly targeted for CSTE preparation. Students aspiring for CSTE certification will buy this book as a standard textbook. I predict the shelflife of this book will be probably 9-12 months since the book hasn't been updated to keep up with latest technological changes.
There are lots of illustrations used throughout the book such as tables, flowcharts, and diagram etc. to explain the concepts, how to use tools, and how to do testing. Many testing concepts are described using theoretical approach. Test planning, test execution, test analysis, and test reporting are covered in excellent ways. The workbench concept and PDCA cycle are informative.
QA professionals might struggle to find the effectiveness of this book during actual implementation in real life testing assignments. The mapping from theory to practice is somewhat difficult, even after following all work benches described by the author. Many work papers are based on what the author has done in the past and typically provides a long list of things which seem quite outdated and redundant. This also makes the book bulky and boring, covering details which are now irrelevant. A few examples are related to the old technology of Mainframe processing, job controls, and procedural languages. A new emphasis, or outlook, on object-oriented technology and Web-based approaches is missing since the author is trying to adopt and/or advocate the same old PDCA concept even in agile environment and fast-paced projects. Some important concepts like RTM (Requirement Traceability Matrix), Test cases based on Use Cases, "lessons learned" or post-mortem analysis, are missing.
The author is knowledgeable and an experienced person in the IT industry. He is the founding member of QAI and has written many books. However, this book is mainly targeted as a standard textbook. Bill's writing style and presentation is geared towards preparing for the certification examination. Bill has done an excellent job in putting all the exam material in one book, which itself is a challenging task. The most interesting fact I find in the book is the overall coverage of so many things and introducing most testing concepts in such precise yet brief passages. I will strongly recommend the book to all CSTE candidates and this recommendation is based on my own success of CSTE certification after reading and studying this book.