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Software Testing In The Real World: Improving The Process [Hardcover]

Edward Kit
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)


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Book Description

November 17, 1995 0201877562 978-0201877564

Software Testing In The Real World provides the reader with a tool-box for effectively improving the software testing process. The book gives the practicing software engineer a menu of techniques with guidance on how to create a strategy for continuous, sustainable improvement within their organization--whatever its size or level of process maturity. Ed Kit addresses the most frequently asked questions about methodologies, tools, technology and organizational issues being posed in the testing community today. Pragmatic in its approach, the book confronts the problem of the relative immaturity of the software engineering discipline in most organizations with practical guidance on cost and risk, standards, planning testing tasks and testing tools. Test and Quality Assurance Specialists, Developers and Project Managers alike will benefit from the practical, proven techniques for improving testing as well as the specific "best of breed" software testing tools information.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Software testing.
It is exhilarating. It is exasperating.
It can be the best of jobs--or the worst.
It is fundamental to delivering quality software on time within budget.

This book is for anyone interested in improving their test process, including test specialists, product developers, managers, quality assurance specialists, maintainers, project managers, auditors, systems analysts, tool developers, and others whose jobs involve understanding software testing. It offers developers and other people whose work is not primarily in the testing area an opportunity to improve their own specialty through a better understanding of testing.

To understand testing and to improve testing practice, it is essential to see the software testing process in its broadest terms--as the means by which people, methodology, tools, measurement, and leadership are integrated to test a software product. More than 20 years in testing practice, teaching, and consulting have shown me the following key questions raised again and again by people wanting to improve their testing process: Methodology questionsWhat are the key testing methods, when do we use them, and how do we implement them?How do we prevent defect migration and improve defect finding capabilities?How can we understand and leverage the relevant test standards and terminology?How do we create meaningful test plans and other critical test deliverables?How do we identify and prioritize potential software testing process improvements?Leadership questionsHow do we organize the software testing effort so it is measurable and controllable?Where can we find additional help regarding software testing?How can we ensure that improvements are sustainable in the medium and long term?How can we organize testing for the most effective relations between people?How can we generally maximize exhilaration and minimizeexasperation?Tools and technology questionsWhat are the most significant opportunities for automating the testing process?How can we use measurement to understand and control the software test process?How can we select test tools and vendors and implement an effective tools program?How can we use risk analysis techniques as a basis for decision making in testing?

My experience has shown that a balanced strategy addressing methodology, leadership, and technology is most effective for improving testing.

Most software development organizations suffer from immature software processes. Given this starting point, practitioners and managers naturally ask: "Yes, but what do I do now?". This book offers a tool-box for effectively improving the software testing process. A tool-box is not a single methodology to be followed from A to Z. It is a menu of techniques that can be taken individually or in combination to provide the means to formulate and reach realistic improvement objectives.

Part I is for orientation. It describes the six essentials of software testing, the history of testing, and a simple, practical approach to getting started with improving the testing process. It identifies software engineering in general and testing in particular as new disciplines grappling with the escalating demands of an environment expecting miracles.

Part II establishes practical goals from a "now we are here" position, and explains how these relate to formal and less formal definitions of testing and testing objectives, and to the current standards that are fundamental (and useful) to practitioners in their everyday work.

The basic forms of the testing process are explained, and the critical real-world issues of cost and risk are fully clarified and integrated in the decision making process of what, when and how to test. In this part we address the items that need to be in place before we dig more deeply into the testing activities of verification and validation. The issues of planning, software engineering maturity goals, configuration management, standards, and tools are explained and positioned.

Part III explains the basic verification and validation testing tasks, including planning and controlling testing costs, and making the best use of resources. The use of tools as a way of gaining leverage in the various testing activities is explained, together with clarification of tool categories, and practical guidance on the critical questions for tool acquisition. The appropriate and constructive use of measurement is explained, and guidelines given for the proper use of measurement results.

Part IV explains the organizational and human management issues that surround the test effort and which are key determinants of its success. It surveys some current best practice sources, and then refocuses on how to get sustainable improvements in place in the short and medium term.

Definitions, references, and examples are integrated within the main text of the book as far as possible. The appendices contain a variety of material that is too detailed for inclusion in the main text of the book, and which is essentially complementary. This includes sample checklists, exercises, planning documents, and sample working documents. There is further detail on official standards and specifications as well as useful help sources such as journals, tools, conferences, newsletters, user groups, and an annotated bibliography.Acknowledgments

Life provides many teachers. Some say all of life is our teacher. Space prohibits acknowledging all who have positively influenced this book, but does allow acknowledgment of the following people due special appreciation.

Great appreciation is due my wife, Cathy Baldwin, who not only provided continuous moral support and endless editing of the book, but also provided encouragement during the early start-up years of Software Development Technologies. Special thanks to our families for their support over the years.

I am particularly grateful to David Gelperin and Bill Hetzel: to David for providing the opportunity to teach my first course on software testing nearly a decade ago, and for providing the ongoing friendship and support that kept me going; to Bill for encouraging me to write a book and forwriting the foreword for the book; and to both of them for providing the opportunity to be associated with Software Quality Engineering for many years.

Appreciation is due Chris Larson, who for 15 years has generously shared his friendship and wealth of software engineering experiences gained from over 25 years with Hewlett Packard, IBM, Tandem, and CDC, and who contributed enormously to the course on which this book is based.

Appreciation is also due Susannah Finzi for being an outstanding friend and editor, and for keeping the book appealing from a global perspective while patiently enduring seemingly endless rewrites without a single complaint.

Appreciation is due the reviewers who gave their time to providevaluable comments, especially Bill Hetzel, David Gelperin, Dot Graham, Marty Gipson, Vijay Sarathy, Ray O'Neal, Ellen Brodbine, Trevor Reeve, Cathy Baldwin, Chris Larson, Denise Leigh, and Paul Claydon.

Finally, appreciation is due to the students who attended the courses upon which this book is based and who in the process became my teachers and provided suggestions for improving the course, especially the participants from Hewlett Packard, Motorola, Microsoft, Apple Computer, US Army, IBM, NCR, Johnson & Johnson, Grumman Data Systems, Australia and New Zealand Bank, ADP, EDS, PeopleSoft, SCO, General Electric, Oracle, NEC, Lloyds Bank, USDA, NetFrame, Cadence, Sears, AT&T, Informix, British Aerospace, Sybase, Tandem, and Octel Communications.

Ed Kit
Cupertino, September 1995 0201877562P04062001

From the Back Cover

"I really enjoyed the book. If I had written a book on testing, it would have resembled Ed Kit's. His focus on the testing process is excellent."
--Greg Daich, Senior Software Engineer, Science Applications International Corporation and member of the Software Technology Support Center (STSC) Test Group

"The book is easy to read and suitable for anyone interested in how to achieve better testing...Software Testing In The Real World should go a long way towards helping many of us make practical and lasting improvements... I encourage you to 'test' it out."
--Bill Hetzel, President, Software Quality Engineering (from the Foreword)

"The Ed Kit book will be a good one. It has a nice practical approach, and brings testing up to date with recent developments."
--Barry Boehm, Director USC Center for Software Engineering

Software Testing In The Real World provides the reader with a tool-box for effectively improving the software testing process. The book gives the practicing software engineer a menu of techniques with guidance on how to create a strategy for continuous, sustainable improvement within their organization--whatever its size or level of process maturity.

Ed Kit addresses the most frequently asked questions about methodologies, tools, technology and organizational issues being posed in the testing community today. Pragmatic in its approach, the book confronts the problem of the relative immaturity of the software engineering discipline in most organizations with practical guidance on cost and risk, standards, planning testing tasks and testing tools.

Test and Quality Assurance Specialists, Developers and Project Managers alike will benefit from the practical, proven techniques for improving testing as well as the specific "best of breed" software testing tools information.



0201877562B04062001


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (November 17, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201877562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201877564
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,133,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(12)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Edward Kit does an excellent job with his "hit-the-ground-running" approach to key software test concepts and techniques, and he does so in easy-to-read conversational English. I've been testing software for 22 years, and use Mr. Kit's book almost daily in corporate Software Verification & Validation (SV&V) presentations & training courses, with great success.
The book is LOADED with practical info, and is NOT just for software testers. It's also a big help to programmers (of all levels), and to "non-software" management personnel (who need to learn the basics of the SV&V process, but don't have time for the "nitty-gritties").
Mr. Kit's book has something for everyone, including great software test & project management checklists, descriptions of common (but subtle) BIG project mistakes to avoid, test planning exercises, and plenty of IEEE Standards & SEI-CMM references to back it all up.
If you really want to break out of the self-destructive "quick-code-hacking/fixing-and-testing-for-next-week's-deadline" cycle, and get into true Software Development & Testing for LONG-TERM Customer Satisfaction & profitability, then start with this book!
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent at presenting a framework for testing process February 26, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Previous reviews have given this book poor marks because it did not live up to expectations that it would provide information on "how" to test. Well, that's because it is not this book's purpose to do that. I found the book useful because it helped me to get my hands around the issues related to establishing testing organizations and improving the testing process. I was a software tester for 12 years, from 1987-1998, and this book helped to validate many of my opinions. It was great for giving me ammunition in the fight to establish and defend the discipline of testing within the company I work. If you too are looking to establish a better testing process, to understand why it is important to implement testing the "right" way, or to prepare to fight those in your organization that downplay the importance of independent testing or good testing process, this book will definitely help.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This book is not about the actual procedures and techniques for software testing. If you are looking for this kind of information there is an array of other books from which to choose. I am not, nor will I ever be a software tester (my career as a service delivery consultant suits me fine). I bought this book to fully understand the software testing process that precedes bringing an application into production, hoping to use this information to bridge the relationship between my side of the fence, service delivery, and my colleagues on the application delivery side.
This book gave me some keen insights into the testing process and what constitutes best practices. Prior to reading this book I had a vague idea about the challenges of software testing. In fact, I had some unreasonable expectations, such as expecting applications to be 100% tested before they were released into production. The authors gave some excellent reasons why this is technically unfeasible, and also why such coverage did not make sense from a cost/benefit point of view. This risk management approach appealed to me and made perfect sense.
Another valuable insight I gained from this book is what constitutes good testing and what I should be expecting in the form of deliverables from the test organization. This information gave me some excellent ideas about how to frame entry criteria for change control in view of the fact that any change to a production environment needs to go through testing before it is implemented and released into production.
I also learned a great deal about standards with which a mature testing organization must comply, and how to measure the quality of deliverables that are provided to production services by testing.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent analytical testing book (not methodology) March 13, 2002
Format:Hardcover
This is an excellent companion book into the world of software testing. What it does do is highlight analytical techniques in how to perform tests. I frown at some who gave this book bad reviews in that they didn't understand the precondition for this book:
1) This book does NOT teach the aspects of how to manage software testing or implement the procedures necessary to do so. This is a more detailed way of looking at things.
2) Buy a book that teaches you how to implement the procedures and deal with all aspects of the organization in making sure these procedures are scoped out. Then, use the techniques in this book to implement the procedures.
I find it extremely funny that the bad reviewers didn't see this - as they should know something about managing projects and communicating with users/management/programmers in a software test environment.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to Grasp Crucial Testing Fundamentals? April 27, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
then buy and read this book. It won't tell you *how* to test, but it will help you create an effective testing strategy for your current and future needs to help you test more effectively. This book is rather short (read:not one of those 1000 page monstrosities you see packing the shelves of your local bookstore) but it packs enough punch to allow you to become an effective tester/manager. Don't be fooled by the low scoring reviews. This book is invaluable. 5 stars!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Software Testing made Simple
This book is an easy read, and gives the uninitiated like myself a good understanding of the basics behind softrware testing. Read more
Published on October 7, 2005 by A. McDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Most thorough, easily understood book on software testing
I manage a large development group for a Fortune 100 company; this group includes hundreds of testers. Read more
Published on February 18, 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical, applicable, common-sensical
Simple. Practical. Readily available thought frameworks for software testing. I consider this book to be a fundamental building block in testing community; not because it is... Read more
Published on February 4, 2003 by Matthew D Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars A wealth of vaulable material packed into a 252 page book
The title of this excellent book is appropriate with respect to real world issues are addressed. It's unfortunate that the real world rarely reflects what's in this book, but that... Read more
Published on July 2, 2002 by Mike Tarrani
5.0 out of 5 stars A good testing book.
This book has a thorough coverage of testing techiniques and methodologies. It is a good book for college students, testers, test designer.
Published on January 24, 2002 by Jian Tang
1.0 out of 5 stars Falls short of its goal
- Vague - Does not tell the reader anything new - Does not tell the reader how to test software - Not recommended for software testers...new or experienced. Read more
Published on January 2, 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars didn't learn anything new
this book is vague and uninformative. i've been testing for 10 years and wouldn't suggest this book for a novice or experienced tester. it teaches nothing.
Published on December 30, 1998
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