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How We Test Software at Microsoft Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 405 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (December 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735624259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735624252
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #577,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alan Page is Director of Test Excellence where he oversees technical training and provides consulting for Microsoft testers. He's one of Microsoft's first Test Architects and has worked on various versions of Windows and Windows CE. Ken Johnstonis Group Manager for the Microsoft Office Internet Platform and Operations team. He is a former Test Lead, Test Manager, and Director of Test Excellence. Bj Rollison is a Test Architect on the Engineering Excellence team. Rollison worked on numerous product releases and later became Director of Test. He’s also a trade-journal writer and conference speaker, and teaches testing at the university level.


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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All is explained in detail, easy to understand and you can smell the experience on every page.
Manfred Dietz
I suspect there is a good reason why this book was published by Microsoft Press rather than by an impartial publishing company.
Hima
I would recommend this book to every one who wants get a fresh perspective on software testing/SQA.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 46 people found the following review helpful By C. Madden on April 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Spoiler Alert: Software is tested at Microsoft with mind-numbing bureaucracy and buzzwords.

I understand this is a "how we do testing a Microsoft" book, but I at least expected a few real code samples, unit tests, test automation scripts, or test plan samples. Instead, code samples were obviously simple functions thrown together by the author, and in-depth testing samples are nowhere to be found.

Instead, this book mostly comes off as an HR manual. MS's testing career path is documented in agonizing detail, and the author tries too hard to suck up to his bosses. Seriously, he actually tells the reader to search for Steve Balmer speeches on Live.com to become inspired.

Once they actually start talking about testing, it is incredibly vague and buzzword laden. There are a few good pieces of advice here, but nothing you won't find in a far better book.

The key question of how software is tested at MS is never really answered. For example:

1. Linux maintainers use Coverity on the Linux Kernel. Does MS use such tools on their Kernel?
2. What sort of scripting languages are used for automation testing of Office or Windows or any other MS product?
3. What sort of Unit Testing software do MS developers use? CppUnit? NUnit? The Unit testing feature in VS2008? What do some of these unit tests look like?
4. What does the typical test plan at MS look like?
5. What sort of white-box testing do developers perform? There are a few vague references to unit testing, but what about performance and coverage testing? What specific tools do they use? What do their result reports look like?

After reading this book, I'm hard pressed to answer any of these.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Hima on May 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was disappointed by this book. The bottom line is that this book has nothing in it which isn't covered better by other software testing books. And the information which is specific to Microsoft is not useful to anyone who is not a Microsoft employee. As another reviewer correctly pointed out, this book does not contain detailed information about specific software testing techniques. That's OK. The book does give all the pertinent acronyms and buzzwords, but paradoxically goes into too much detail, which obscures the important principles. In short, if you want a book which explains software testing techniques used at Microsoft, this is not the book for you. If you want a book which explains testing principles, you are better off with Kaner's "Testing Computer Software" or Patton's "Software Testing". This book might be useful for senior level software testing managers at Microsoft who are looking for a light story-based approach. I suspect there is a good reason why this book was published by Microsoft Press rather than by an impartial publishing company.

Pros: Generally well written and maybe an enjoyable read for experienced Microsoft managers.

Cons: Not technique based as the title might suggest, and not nearly as good as existing books for software testing principles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mama Birdy 64 on January 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The print job is miss-aligned, there are graphics that cover text and you have to guess what they're trying to say. I am very surprised this made it past their QC checks.
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By Nathan on December 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has given me new views of testing that I have not considered in the past. I would highly recommend this book to any software quality assurance professional that is just getting started and for those that want to learn something new. This book showed that my team was not testing in the most efficient manner and we have taken many suggestions from this book to improve our software testing strategies.
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By Andrew Suter-Morris on August 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read this book before and actually like the content. The book I was shipped, however, has a messed up first chapter (thus far, I've only re-read 4 chapters). The little blurbs with boxes around them are offset incorrectly so the border actually covers a couple columns of text.
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alan Myrvold on December 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Great insight into software testing, with a nice balance of stories, process, and test techniques. I now work at Microsoft as an SDET, after many years testing and developing at other software companies, but was still was eagerly awaiting this book.

I'm fascinated by how testers learn their craft, how testing balances the pragmatic and theoretical, and how testers grow in their career. This book covered all that, as well as providing an insight into testing at Microsoft.

For software testers, or anyone interested in software development, this book joins other books I'd recommend, including A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design, Testing Computer Software, How to Break Software, and (for security) Hunting Security Bugs.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KP on July 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
There are lot of books that talks about how to test and what to test but do you want to know how testing is done at one of the biggest software company in the world then this is the book. The authors talk about what kind of skill set they look for when they hire tester and how they are trained. He then goes about talking about different testing methods and its purpose while using real world examples and stats on which methods are good and how they can be used in conjunction to provide more coverage.

I expected more technical details on testing but in terms of an overview book on software testing I think it is one of the better books.
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