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Specification by Example: How Successful Teams Deliver the Right Software Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1617290084 ISBN-10: 1617290084 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (June 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617290084
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617290084
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A UK based consultant, Gojko Adzic helps teams worldwide implement specification by example and agile testing practices. He has written two previous books on the subject and contributed to several open source projects supporting specification by example. Gojko is a frequent speaker at leading software development and testing conferences and runs the UK Agile Testing User Group.


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Customer Reviews

I really loved these case studies and they were written very well.
Bas Vodde
The book Specification by Example is the result of drawing experiences from how a number of actual project teams work with the practice Specification by Example.
Bjorn Rasmusson
Smaller things that I really like: * "Building the product right and building the right product are two very different things. We need to do both to succeed."
al0

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bas Vodde on June 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Specification by Example is Gojko's third book on this subject. The first book, Fitness.net, was very technical and tool oriented. The second book, Bridging the Communication Gap, was a lot more coordination oriented. Now his third book, this one, he describes practices that teams he studied have used. From that perspective, this book is the follow-up of Bridging and might go a little fast if you are totally unfamiliar with the subject.

The book is divided in three parts. The first part is mainly introduction where Gojko describes the benefits and the key practices that will be described in this book. The second part is the actual description of the key practices and the third part are different case studies about different teams in different companies that have adopted specification by example.

The key practices that are introduced in part one and described in part 2 are:
- Deriving scope from goals
- Specifying collaboratively
- Illustrating using example
- Refining the specification
- Automating without changing the specification
- Validating frequently
- Evolving a documentation system

Deriving scope from goals discusses how customers main concert is not the software but solving a problem and developers shouldn't just expect to get the requirements from the customer but work together with them to help them to solve their problem in the best way. Specifying collaboratively covers how the customer and the teams will cooperatively define the specifications that the team will be implementing later. Illustrating using examples explains how these specifications can be described best by moving from abstract requirements to concrete examples.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Yuriy Zubarev on February 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
One one hand, the book is not deep, reflective and well argued enough to be a timeless classic. One the other hand, it lacks concrete examples, steps and instructions to be a timely and actionable cookbook. It hangs in a midair between realms of inspirational and practical, touching on both and delivering on none.

I was really looking forward to read this book after hearing an interview with the author on Devnology podcast. It pains me to admit that reading it was not a time well spent. How could the author call his approach "Specification by Example" and offer no end-to-end examples that could be studied, evaluated and replicated? Please comment with a page number(s) for such examples if you disagree, and I will be more than happy to admit my blindness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gishu Pillai on April 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
The book was well organized and timely. Most teams swerve to the extremes of the test automation path... this book advocates striking a pragmatic balance between spotty automated test coverage and a plethora of maintenance-magnet technical tests. SBE is shown as a treasure map.. and then each checkpoint is elaborated in a chapter. Lot of real world knowledge collated in this book...

Key take-aways:
* Don't let customers dictate solutions, instead challenge and extract scope/solutions via collaboration.
* Don't make test automation your end-goal. Move on to living documentation (although I have no clue on how to convince teams of the benefits).
* Keep specs readable by business users.
* Adapt your test suites to the current reality.. Fast feedback is key even for acceptance tests.

Nitpicks: Could have been a shorter book. I realized I don't like reading about case studies... maybe others would like it. I strafed over Part III. and at 50$ a pop, the price is a bit steep.
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Format: Paperback
The concepts in this book, process patterns as Gojko describes them, seem quite straight forward and that's partly because they are, partly because they are very well described within and partly because they just make so much sense.

Its pages describe one of the most effective ways in which teams can build the right product and build that product right. Specification by Example harnesses some key attributes of agile frameworks such as Lean & XP in a mechanism that allows teams to get from business ideas to an implemented and evolving (self-documented) product with the minimum of fuss or waste.

What's more from the research undertaken with real teams in real companies, you the reader, can learn from the many other practitioners who have been using and honing these techniques in the field (that's a real field by the way, with grass and everything).

I think it's rare to get this amount of good practical advice from so many teams distilled into a single reference guide alongside the process.

A fantastic book which should be the accompaniment of every software team member!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AgilePro on November 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So many organizations that do 'Agile' don't understand that there is a process by which teams need to work in order to understand what they are building. Having led many organizations through this effort I had developed many of the types of processes that are presented in this book, but Gojko has provided guidance around all the many types of projects that teams face while trying to be Agile on top of it.

One of the biggest questions I have always received is how do you scale a process for specifying your work via Examples so that small projects can obtain the same benefits and this is covered very well in the book, it has given me many new ideas about how to work within smaller project/team structures.

If you are just starting Agile, read this book, your teams will benefit from the discipline of Specification by Example. If you are already Agile this book will help you get better, improve your velocity, lower defects identified and generally make the process of moving fast less stressful.

Quality isn't a word is a process and this book will help you build the right process for your organization.
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