This paperback book describes the authors' top challenges of software testing and illustrates the tactics testers can use to avoid "lose-lose" situations. Each challenge is outlined with an overview, state of the practice, impact on testing, solutions to the challenge, guidelines for success and a plan of action. The summary chapter is a plan of action to improve testing, followed by four pages of resources.
The first chapter of the book depicts how "testing tests testers" and puts forth a definition of test as being "an event or situation that tries one's qualities." The next chapter contains a Software Testers' Self-Assessment on People-Related Skill Sets that will give insight into the organization and your handling of people issues. The following ten chapters discuss, in inverse order of importance as selected by the authors, the top ten challenges.
Challenge Number One, according to the authors, is "Having to Say No." They list approaches to publishing test results that you might already be using or have seen used, and they are not all pretty. They even deal with reporting ethics. The last chapter, entitled "Plan of Action to Improve Testing" treats change, fear and rewards of failure, how to make change happen, and provides a useful change process tool.
The book weaves the story of the relationships among testers and the other team members, and this last part of the story shows the confluence of tester and test process. Life itself is change and, therefore, all things must change. The authors argue that there are challenges within testing and for testers, and that positive change be made with lots of planning and work. This book is designed to assist in that effort.
Review By: Bill Kearney 09/13/2002The way system design and implementation processes currently work in most organizations puts testing in the unenviable position of being an after-the-fact police force instead of being an integral part of a whole team. Values and principles that could help the testing process often are sublimated in favor of what appears to be short-term corporate and managerial myopia. And the testing organization frequently is blamed for and charged with cleaning up the mess left behind by the passing parade. But there is hope in the sometimes bleak picture. This book offers realistic solutions to significant opportunities that cannot solve themselves. But don't expect testing utopia overnight.
The authors Perry and Rice have a wealth of information to share because of their quality assurance and testing backgrounds. While the data that they share in the book is not novel to those with experience in the testing business, the way that they have compiled and addressed the testers’ all-too-often politically-charged environments makes the book an excellent tool for real-life situations. Certainly they have avoided glitz and glitter in favor of solid information. The book’s format enables reading in the way busy people must--in small increments as time permits. Buy this book and, after digesting it, put it on your reference shelf alongside your copy of DeMarco and Lister’s Peopleware, Productive Projects and Teams, and Bill Hetzel’s The Complete Guide to Software Testing.