There are a lot of books around covering functional testing techniques, but relatively few cover both functional and technical testing. This book will fill that gap. Authors Graham Bath and Judy McKay are core members of the ISTQB Working Party that created the new advanced level syllabus, which will be rolled out worldwide this year.
This book brings both functional and technical aspects of testing into a coherent whole, which will benefit not only test analyst/engineers but also test managers. Based on the "Certified Tester" Advanced-Level syllabus issued by the ISTQB in 2007, the book covers everything you will need to know to successfully sit the examinations for Test Analyst and Technical Test Analyst.
For those planning to take one or both of these exams, the book provides a solid base for preparation and clearly indicates which sections apply to which specific examination.
Review By: Chris A. Grady 02/02/2009This book is the perfect companion for people taking the ISTQB certifications or those just looking for a comprehensive resource on testing. The text is meant as a study guide for the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) certification(s); however, it is a valuable resource for any software test engineer. The book is divided into sections and sub-sections which are clearly outlined in the table of contents and the index. Although, I have to say the index was fairly basic, and to quickly find specific subject matter, the reader is best advised to use the table of contents. The information provided can be utilized for years to come as the subject matter concentrates on the best standards of testing.
The authors start the book with a fictitious application (Marathon) and give the in's and out's regarding the system. The fictitious application is referenced in subsequent chapters to provide "real life" scenarios. The various forms of testing from functional to efficiency to reliability are all discussed and effectively demonstrated using the Marathon system. Afterward, the reader is taken into the review stage, where the authors discuss various types of reviews and the required individuals involved with the system that are pertinent to reviews. The final sections involving test tools and defect management are well laid out for the reader. The authors provide examples of how various testing tools can be used effectively. I thought it was a good deal of information provided regarding defect management, which seems to be one of the new areas of focus in software development. The information regarding defect classification was on par with what is happening in the field today. The final section regarding communication—to me—was the least interesting section that provided little more than common sense directives regarding communication skills necessary for test engineers.
The Software Test Engineer's Handbook is an excellent book to read, and the authors were engaging to me as the reader. I am not sure if it was intentional or not but the cover photo of the "crash test dummy" is appropriate for a book covering test guidelines. The information was presented in a clear and concise manner yet not in a fashion that would make you think it was a test study guide. The writing style of talking to the reader as if in conversation works well in this text; you learn without realizing it. I thought the use of the Marathon system was an excellent idea allowing the information and examples to flow easily and the concepts to be understood. I would recommend this book to testers and test managers. Regardless if you are just starting out as a test engineer or are a seasoned pro, The Software Test Engineer's Handbook has something to offer everyone.