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Implementing Automated Software Testing: How to Save Time and Lower Costs While Raising Quality 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0321580511
ISBN-10: 9780321580511
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“This book fills a huge gap in our knowledge of software testing. It does an excellent job describing how test automation differs from other test activities, and clearly lays out what kind of skills and knowledge are needed to automate tests. The book is essential reading for students of testing and a bible for practitioners.
—Jeff Offutt, Professor of Software Engineering, George Mason University

“This new book naturally expands upon its predecessor,Automated Software Testing,and is the perfect reference for software practitioners applying automated software testing to their development efforts. Mandatory reading for software testing professionals!
—Jeff Rashka, PMP, Coauthor ofAutomated Software Testing and Quality Web Systems

Testing accounts for an increasingly large percentage of the time and cost of new software development. Using automated software testing (AST), developers and software testers can optimize the software testing lifecycle and thus reduce cost. As technologies and development grow increasingly complex, AST becomes even more indispensable.  This book builds on some of the proven practices and the automated testing lifecycle methodology (ATLM) described inAutomated Software Testingand provides a renewed practical, start-to-finish guide to implementing AST successfully.

InImplementing Automated Software Testing,three leading experts explain AST in detail, systematically reviewing its components, capabilities, and limitations. Drawing on their experience deploying AST in both defense and commercial industry, they walk you through the entire implementation process—identifying best practices, crucial success factors, and key pitfalls along with solutions for avoiding them. You will learn how to:
  •     Make a realistic business case for AST, and use it to drive your initiative
  •     Clarify your testing requirements and develop an automation strategy that reflects them
  •     Build efficient test environments and choose the right automation tools and techniques for your environment
  •     Use proven metrics to continuously track your progress and adjust accordingly
Whether you're a test professional, QA specialist, project manager, or developer, this book can help you bring unprecedented efficiency to testing—and then use AST to improve your entire development lifecycle.

About the Author

Elfriede Dustin, Thom Garrett, and Bernie Gauf work together at Innovative Defense Technologies (, which specializes in the design, development, and implementation of automated software testing solutions.

Elfriede Dustin has authored multiple software testing books and articles based on her many years of actual hands-on automated software testing experience. Elfriede leads IDT's efforts in automated software testing research programs. You can follow her on twitter @ElfriedeDustin or reach her via linkedin ElfriedeDustin

Thom Garrett has experience in planning, testing, and deployment of complex systems for DoD and commercial applications for companies such as Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Digital System Resources (DSR), Inc., and America Online (AOL). Thom received a master's degree from the University of San Francisco.

Bernie Gauf is the president of IDT. Bernie has been invited to participate in numerous DoD panels associated with the use of new technology, testing conferences, and as a guest speaker to share his insights on automated software testing.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (March 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780321580511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321580511
  • ASIN: 0321580516
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Crispin on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Although this book is not oriented towards agile software development, it's still a solid resource for anyone new to test automation. It's pragmatic, practical, clearly written, easy to understand. I especially like the six "Keys" for automation payoff. The authors explain the reasons for automating - it might seem obvious to some but many newbies don't see all the potential benefits. The book also blows through automation myths. There's a lot of emphasis on ROI, which is often overlooked.

Where the advice I give on automation differs from this book is making it a whole team effort, rather than the test team only, but that's easier to do in an agile setting. Also, the authors do talk about things like interviewing stakeholders, and getting people with the right skills, these are all so important.

I wish the book had a section on continuous integration and automated build process. I think in another few years nobody will question the need for this, any more than people currently question the need for automated source code management. Whereas a few years ago nobody in my conference tutorials was doing CI, nowadays about a third of the people are. I think it's so critical to have a way to continually run all the automated regression tests every time new code is checked in. The book makes a passing reference to this, and it does mention test automation at different levels starting at the unit level, but it doesn't explain why you need a build process and how to set one up.

Nevertheless, it's a great resource, and will give readers a good grip on the fundamentals of test automation. I get so frustrated when people think it's impossible to automate, or that they have to hire some expensive consultant to get it done. This book will enable teams to be much more successful.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By James Holmes on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book isn't for everyone, but everyone can get some value out of it. What I mean by that rather confusing statement is that folks working in Agile environments will likely want to throw the book across the room while folks in more bureaucratic environments like CMMI or other waterfall environments will likely get a great deal of value from the book.

I'm an Agile fanatic and I had a difficult time dealing with book's approach which emphasizes spending large amounts of time creating documentation such as requirements traceability matrixes, detailed test plans, etc. My preferred approach is to have testers working side-by-side as part of a team, creating specifications from user stories/requirements and moving those right in to automated test suites via tools like Selenium, Cucumber, or RSpec.

That said, I did indeed get some good value from the book. I found the discussions on making hard evaluations on what to test very worthwhile reading: teams can easily vaporize large amounts of time creating large suites of brittle, unmaintainable automated tests. This book has several really good chapters on using business cases to drive return on investment (ROI) decisions for testing, understanding automated test pitfalls, and adjusting your testing as you progress through your project.

Additionally, one of the book's high points was on building the test team: "Put the Right People on the Project - Know the Skill Sets Required." This is a great chapter which emphasizes starting the search by focusing on how to interview test team members - and how those testers' skills are greatly different than other members of the team.

The book's very academic, dry tone makes for some difficult reading, and few concrete examples are used until very late in the book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
The authors give you a top level description of why automated software testing is highly desirable, along with detailed guidelines for doing so. The tone is very realistic, making you aware of many issues associated with the topic.

For one thing, you are cautioned to avoid the blandishments of a vendor who might suggest that her product will meet all your testing needs. In the authors' experience, there is no single tool that covers all major operating systems. The book also advises you to look at open source freeware. There is a surprising amount of good stuff freely available, that you might want to check first before considering proprietary products.

The book mentions many reasons for automation. These include manual tester fatigue. But also that some things are very difficult to test in a manual fashion. Often this could be because manual testing is at the GUI level. There could be bugs deep in the code, maybe in computational blocks.

Which also leads to the point that the "testers" for making automated tests often have a different skill set from manual testers. The latter might not be programmers. The former should be, with access to the source code [white box or grey box testing]. Because this gives them knowledge about what automated tests to write, that test critical aspects.

Naively, given the book's nature, we might expect it to say automate everything in sight. But the book's credibility is enhanced by it explaining that this is simply not economically feasible. The estimate is 40-60% of tests to be automated. Table 6.2 in the book is a list of questions that can be applied to each test, to suggest whether a test is suitable for automation. Roughly, tests that will be run often are a high candidate for automation.
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