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A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design
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Copeland starts off with an overview of testing as a process, followed by case studies. These lay the foundation for the techniques for which a chapter is devoted to each technique. The chapters on the techniques are divided into collections of techniques that are most effective for blackbox (seven) and whitebox (two) testing. The next chapters are devoted to scripted testing with an emphasis on IEEE 829, exploratory testing, and test planning. The book wraps up with an outstanding chapter on software defect taxonomies, advice on when to stop testing, and case studies.
So why did I state this book is a page turner? Copeland has masterfully used humor, statements that catch you off guard, and a warm conversational style to hold your attention. Among the priceless gems of humor are the off-the-wall quotes that he uses in front of each chapter. One of many examples of how he holds your attention by catching you off guard is in Chapter 6 on pairwise testing: 'Why does pairwise testing work so well? I don't know', which he then follows up with one of the most cogent explanations of the technique I've had the pleasure of reading. As an aside, his treatment of pairwise testing - and the power of that technique - is reason enough to read this book.
Another aspect of this book I like is the thoroughness with which he presents techniques.Read more ›
Lee's book provides a concise description based on excellent Case Studies of Black-Box (Requirements Focused) test techniques, moving from the simple (Equivalence Class and Boundary Value testing) to the more complex (Domain Analysis and Use Case testing). He provides the best description I've seen of test case development using orthogonal arrays. Lee then addresses White-Box (Structural Focused) testing, showing how to approach Control Flow and Data Flow testing. Again, he has the best description with illustrative examples of Data Flow testing that I've ever seen.
Lee then describes two Test Paradigms: Scripted Testing and Exploratory Testing that appear to be significantly different, and shows how the two can be used together for even more effective testing. That's the way I've always done testing, by the way.Read more ›
Orthogonal arrays and domain testing are two very challenging topics. They are also essential test design techniques.
As important as these topics are, few books or articles present the concepts in an understandable way. Up until now, the tester had to struggle through some arcane, mystifying ideas before coming to the essence: How to use them for testing.
Lee's presentation skips the arcane and the mystical. He takes you straight to the core of the idea. After a few short pages, you will understand both of these concepts, even if you've read other authors' presentations and come away confused. More importantly, you'll understand how to use these techniques to design effective and efficient tests.
Bravo, Lee, and thank you for demystifying these concepts for the rest of us.
It was interesting to read some of the quotes from Boris Beizer and other early testing authors. Some of those nuggets, such as the example of "Kiddie Pool vs. Real Pool" had a big impact on me years ago as I developed my understanding of what testing is about. Copeland achieves a nice level of coverage in this book, as he addresses black box and white box testing, as well as testing paradigms that shape the way someone may look at testing. The trade-offs between exploratory and scripted approaches are examined in particular.
I really like the readability of this book, due in large part to the humor that Copeland sprinkles through the book just when you need a smile.
Copeland also does an excellent job of thoroughly explaining by example how the various testing techniques are applied. He takes each technique step-by-step and breaks it down so that even a beginner can understand.
I found the chapter devoted to bug taxonomies very helpful by providing the lists by Beizer, Caner, Binder, Whittaker and others in a single location. I often tell my students to "start a bug collection" to understand the defects most common in the software they test. This is a natural and effective starting point for process improvement. The bug taxonomy can give you a head start on your own bug collection.
I can highly recommend this book to any tester. If you are looking for a self-study book in test planning, this is a great place to start!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The topics are not complete but the book includes too many topics.Published 4 months ago by Mayank Neralla
My wife is reading it now and she excited about the book. She has already read some Beizer's books and it helps her because Copeland refers to it a lot.Published 10 months ago by Kosmynin Alexandr
Very useful book, opened my eyes on testing. Thanks to everybody, who participated in creating this guide. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jevgeni Demidov
The book was published in 2004 and 10 years later the concepts still apply! The chapters on equivalence class, boundary value, domain analysis testing cannot be really applied to... Read morePublished 21 months ago by College Student
Copeland's explanations are either extremely vague or extremely complicated and hardly useful. This doesn't cover the basics well. Read morePublished on June 2, 2013 by MissThang
The first 2/3 of the book (chapters 1-11) are great. A superb overview of many testing techniques helpful to a software tester. Read morePublished on March 23, 2011 by C. Chartier
I have been a manager in my company's testing organization for about four months after having worked in software development for the past 13 years. Read morePublished on July 21, 2010 by Philip R. Heath
Lee Copeland has written a very clear exposition of software test design techniques, this being a text book that reads like a story. Read morePublished on January 31, 2009 by Mr P R Morgan
I purchased this book to help me with a university unit primarily on system testing methods and techniques. Read morePublished on June 17, 2008 by David L