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Testing Computer Software, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0471358466
ISBN-10: 0471358460
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The original printing of Testing Computer Software set the standard for the emerging field of test engineering with a full tour of the state of the art in managing the testing process. The reissued text makes this classic out-of-print text available once again. Though it relies heavily on older examples (including MS-DOS) and has not been updated, this text is still a worthwhile resource for practical-minded advice on the realities of testing.

The best thing about Testing Computer Software is its practical point-by-point guide to everyday software testing, from creating a test plan, to writing effective bug reports, to working with programming staff and management to fix bugs.

That said, this book's early frame of reference shows how far we've come. (The book relies heavily on MS-DOS examples and features some truly embarrassing anachronisms, including the mention of testing dot-matrix printers and even EGA/VGA video modes.) The bibliography stops at sources from 1992 and features many references from the 1980s. Nowadays, automated software testing tools are the staple of any testing strategy. This book even advocates a wait-and-see approach to the "new" Microsoft Test.

These limitations aside, there is still a good deal to mine here. Much of the approach to testing is still very valid for any aspiring or working test engineer. Clearly, readers of the first edition will have little reason to upgrade to this second edition, but for anyone who appreciates a "classic" (and indeed a pioneering) text in the field of software testing, it's good to have Testing Computer Software in print again. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: test case design, test planning, project lifecycle overview, software errors, boundary conditions, bug reports, regression testing, black box testing, software quality and reliability, managing test teams, printer testing, internationalization, and managing legal risk.

Review

"I enjoyed reading Testing computer software. The text contains numerous highlights Offering practical advice, authoritative figures you can cite to customers and higher management, and entertaining anecdotes to share with coworkers Although some sections need updating, I still think it is a valuable training and reference source for software testers, managers, and developers." --Diomidis Spinellis; IEEE software magazine (May /June 2001))

"Deep insight and a great deal of experience is contained in this book" (Database & Network Journal, Vol 30/5 2000)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (April 12, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471358460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471358466
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Erick M. Griffin on October 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Testing Computer Software is one of the those rare books that has taken on the problems of the Verification Engineer. As all of us know, most books written today are targeted for the development audience and even many of these are either poorly written or try to cover too much area. This book however, though broad in its scope, does a good job of treating all of the important areas in verification and testing.
I have found Chapters 2, 3, 7, 11 and 12 to be the most useful and poignant to the average engineer. Not only is each chapter well laid out, but the authors also offer compelling arguments in each chapter to back up their arguments as well. I enjoyed particularly Chapter 3 the section on Path Testing, which conjures up horror stories from my development days. In this section the authors assert that 100% path testing does not imply 100% test coverage. They go on to argue with some rigor why the two are not necessarily the same. Many of you as I can probably claim that though all of the paths in their code were tested, verification was still able to find some condition that would make some part of the code fail. This chapter explains why this may be so and methodologies on how to attack testing those areas.
You will find the book well structured, informative and actually intuitive to navigate through. Each chapter builds on the previous chapters to provide the engineer with a clear idea of all the steps and intricacies involved in testing and verifying complex programs. It can therefore be used by the beginner as a source book for specific test applications, or by the team lead or manager who needs to know more about the actual scope and planning of a complex testing project. This book surely fills a great void in the area of publications software verification.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Bret Pettichord on August 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book should sit on the desk of every software tester.
Many books will tell you how to test when you have enough time and cooperation. This book tells you what to do when the schedule is tight, the specification is missing, and the developers are tired of your focus on problems. It has sound advice and is a pleasure to read. I keep coming back to it. Feel like you have an impossible job? Read this book.
(Note: this book was published in 1993 and has not been updated since then. Wiley lists 1999 as the publication date because that was when they became the new publisher for the book, which is destined to become a classic.)
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on July 7, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first read this book over eight years ago I was less than enthusiastic. At the time I felt that the approach was not rigorous enough. Over time I came to appreciate the pragmatism and how the approach in this book reflects the realities of software testing instead of a rigid, purist view as an unattainable ideal.
Everything the new or intermediate test professional needs to know is covered. The practices and techniques provided will foster sound QA practices and will step you through developing test strategies, and from those, developing and executing test cases. These are the real essence of testing, and this book covers them exceptionally well.
I like the coverage of testing systems and artifacts that are not software - documentation, hardware, and localization testing advice shows that testing is not limited to software. As importantly, the chapter on legal consequences of software defects will show testing in a perspective that is often overlooked, even by seasoned test professionals.
If you are new to software testing, or have some experience, but no formal training, this book will provide you with the right way to approach software testing, and will give insights that would take years to learn on your own.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Howard Fear on October 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
One great testing book. What makes it great? It is pragmatic from start to finish. It addresses real problems in the world of software testing. And does so acknowledging that there's never enough time to do everything you want let alone trying to fulfill the overblown government perscriptions of ISO, SEI, and CMM.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Cartmill (wendyc@prolynx.com) on January 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book provides an comprehensive guide to software testing. It covers all aspects of testing - e.g., test types, methods, plans, scripts, and cases. An excellent training and reference tool. It is useful to managers and experienced testers, and would be an excellent training tool for novice testers.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David C. Ruff on December 26, 1997
Format: Paperback
Lately I have read a lot of computer books. I have been in the software development business only about two and a half years. This is the best and most useful book I have read. I have tested, and am testing, software. This book is perfect for any tester or manager of testers. The authors are truly enlightned and experienced and best of all, they transmit their experience and knowledge to the reader in a most organized, logical and concise manner. A "must" for anyone involved in testing in any way.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Margaret@agtdisd.com on October 3, 1997
Format: Paperback
I found this book very informative and helpful as a beginning software tester. The authors were very pragmatic and concise in defining different methods and systems to use for testing, and because of this, it is an excellent testing handbook for those people who do not have formal training and need to know where to begin and how to procede in a logical manner. It is also a great reference manual for testing terms that are new to a beginner. Overall, I would highly recommmend this as an excellent textbook for software testing.
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