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Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach 1st Edition

60 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471081128
ISBN-10: 0471081124
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Editorial Reviews


"If testing is something that is going to be an important part of your career buy this book and read it carefully." (CVu - Jnl of the Association C & C++ Users, February 2002)

"...a real gem?for me, this book is one that I shall find useful?each and every test department should have several copies prepared to be inspired, or at the very least to have your ideas challenged..." (Professional Tester, September 2002)

"...a refreshing and enjoyable book?it will not be 'shelf-ware', but a well-used reference..." (Software Testing, Verification & Reliability, March 2003)

"...will make fascinating reading?highly recommended..." (CVu, Dec 03)


"...part of a rare breed of informative books which are both accessible to beginners whilst still being of great use to experts. No matter how much you know about software testing, Kaner, Bach and Pettiford still have a few lessons to teach you..." (M2 Communications, 7 June 2002)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 31, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471081124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471081128
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Pat McGee on January 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book contains 293 "Lessons". Each seems to be meant for people with certain experiences and certain problems; some very broadly defined, others more tightly. So, how do I grade 293 lessons? One way would be to average them, another to pick on the worst (from my point of view). I choose to pick out the ones that hit me the hardest; the best from my point of view.
I've been a developer, a tester, a test manager, and am now a grad student studying testing with Dr. Kaner. This book was the proximate cause of the last. If I had had this book a couple of years ago, I believe I would have done a much better job as test manager, and my project would have succeeded better with our customer. This is the second best book on testing that I've ever read.
By the time I saw Lesson 31, I had already learned it the hard way. "A Requirement is a quality or condition that matters to someone who matters." It doesn't matter what the requirements document says; you ignore the opinion of someone who matters at your peril. I did.
Lesson 57: "Make your bug report an effective sales tool." My bug reports developed a pretty good reputation with most of the developers, so I quit paying as much attention to putting convincing arguments in them. Then, we got some new senior developers. I was back at square one without quite realizing how I got there. Don't do that.
Lesson 235: "Staff the testing team with diverse backgrounds." When I became test manager, I looked for people like me: computer science degree with developer experience. Well, such people don't work as testers, especially for the location and money we offered. I first hired a young woman with Army training. Later, I figured out how lucky I had been; she was one of the two best testers who worked for me.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Richard Cowand on February 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I noticed that many of the reviewers listed above are noted SW testing professionals that have published books themselves. I also noticed that these same professionals tend to supply glowing reviews for each other. I think this might lead to a bit of a bias that could mislead ordinary folks looking for a good reference tool to help them do their job.
I've been in the SW test business for several years and have used Cem Kaner's "Testing Computer Software 2nd Edition" as a bible for many years. Mr. Kaner's "Lessons Learned in Software Testing" is a great help for both rookies and seasoned veterans alike, but mainly for anecdotal wisdom. I wish I had the opportunity to read this book early in my career, it would have prevented some of the painful lessons I've learned about the testing business. At the same time, portions of this book are opinions and observations, and should be read with an open mind, but not read as gospel. I often read sections of this book to reassure myself that my actions/decisions/processes are sound.
This book is not a "how to" guide with sample forms and processes to follow, but a very useful collection of wisdom from some of the best minds in testing. Think of this book as three wise people sharing their knowledge with anyone willing to listen (or ante up the bucks to buy the book).
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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Sam Guckenheimer on January 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you test software, or depend on people who do, then read this book. Each page effervesces with hard-won advice for handling the practical problems you encounter every day.
Software testing is an increasingly complicated discipline that suffers from too much liturgy, too little experience and too many conflicting theories. Kaner, Bach, and Pettichord balance this with a wealth of practical, empirical knowledge. In particular, their emphasis on the contextual factors of software testing brings out the value in understanding conflicting points of view.
This book will help you be a better tester or test manager. I expect to refer to it every week.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Marge Farrell on February 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of reviewing this book as it was being written. It is a real gem.
This book is a tool that will be valuable throughout your career. It is filled with practical suggestions and observations based on decades of experience. You will not find religious wars here, just real-world experience with wide application.
This book will pay for itself very quickly. I have used the weekly status report format on page 183 for several projects and found it to be much more effective than any previous formats.
If you use pairwise testing, pages 52-60, the book has paid for itself. I've used pairwise testing to reduce an impossible number of combinations (864) to a small number of test cases that effectively covered what needed to be tested.
If you want to get the bugs you find fixed, read Chapter 4. If you do automated testing, you can climb way up the learning curve by reading Chapter 5. If you're making decisions about how much test documentation to write, read Chapter 6. If you're involved in management, read Chapter 9. If you're interested in managing your career, read Chapter 10. I could go on.
I've worked in diverse environments on wildly different products. This book has something for every work situation and test problem I've faced. On a scale of 10, I would give it 100 for greatly exceeding my expectations.
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