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Testing Extreme Programming Paperback – November 4, 2002

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321113559 ISBN-10: 0321113551 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The rapid rise in popularity of Extreme Programming (XP) has put the practice of software testing squarely in the spotlight of application development. At one time, testing was a neglected practice, a highly specialized activity that came as an afterthought as complex, code-intensive projects were rushed to completion. But in today's world of escalating quality expectations, testing is a key component of the development process.

XP accelerates testing by demanding its complete integration with development. This in turn has pushed software professionals to rethink their traditional attitudes toward testing. XP asks the entire development team to embrace testing. In fact, testing is so critical to the XP methodology that programmers are required to write automated tests before they begin coding. Until now, however, there has been a distinct lack of instruction specific to testing and how it relates to XP.

Testing Extreme Programming is a practical tutorial that gives software builders a lucid understanding of this important aspect of development. This book demonstrates how testing is central to the XP project, clearly spelling out what testing should be done and when and how it should be performed. The authors teach by example, and readers will be able to improve their knowledge of the testing process by completing the book's exercises.

In addition, this book:

  • Provides a general overview of the XP methodology
  • Defines the roles of XP team members
  • Shows how to write effective tests before coding begins
  • Helps you avoid the traps and pitfalls that can derail software projects
  • Sheds light on the important practice of refactoring and how it relates to testing
  • Compares and contrasts manual and automated tests

Many software engineers have dismissed XP as a throw-out-the-rulebook, anything-goes technique. It isn't. As this book shows, XP is a deliberate and disciplined approach to software development. Many software engineers have reaped the benefits of this agile methodology because its emphasis on testing eliminates much of the risk inherent in software projects. XP helps developers produce software on time, under budget, and at a higher quality level. But you can't XP if you don't test. With this book as a guide, you will learn to embrace testing. A sound testing program is the engine that drives an XP project.


About the Author

Lisa Crispin has more than ten years of experience testing Web applications, databases, 4GLs, middleware, and business applications. She first elbowed her way onto an XP team in July 2000. Lisa has published articles based on her XP testing experience in STQE Magazine, Novatica, and other technical journals. She has also presented technical papers and seminars on XP testing in the U.S. and Europe.

Tip House, a chief systems analyst at the OCLC Online Computer Library Center, has twenty-five years of experience in software development, testing, and quality assurance. Tip is a Certified Quality Analyst, Certified Software Quality Engineer, and trained Lead Ticket Auditor. He is the creator of numerous tools for test automation and software configuration, including the WebART tool, and is the author of numerous papers and presentations on software testing, software measurement, electronic document control/collaboration, and XP.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (November 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321113551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321113559
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,043,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
While I yield to no one in recognizing the value of testing software, my first reaction to reading the title of this book was one of skepticism. One of the fundamental principles of extreme programming (XP), is that the software is developed in small increments, each of which must pass a unit test before the next change is made. In fact, in many cases the unit test is written by the developers before they write the code. These incremental tests are also carried out by the two-person coding team, so it seemed strange to be reading about testing XP. From the title and blurbs on the covers, it was a natural assumption that the focus would be on testing other than that done by the development teams.
After reading the book, that skepticism has largely gone, although I do possess some residual doubts about XP and how it scales. The basic point is that programmers are very good at testing their code at the unit level, but weak when asked to verify it at the system level. I agree with the authors that there should be a dedicated tester who examines the code at a level higher than the unit. However, I am also of the opinion that this is a confirmation of the doubt about XP expressed by so many observers, namely that it does not scale up to large projects well. The testers that they are proposing are more in the realm of a manager responsible for testing rather than a tester.
This is of course very sensible. Once the programmers start producing code tested at the unit level and the integration process begins, someone must be responsible for the smooth flow and testing of the integration. This is also the level where the ever-present customer, another fundamental principle of XP, really sees the functionality of the code for the first time.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael Cohn on November 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic. I'm only a tester to the extent that everyone doing XP is a tester but I found many valuable things in this book. There are excellent chapters about how to estimate and plan releases and iterations, including excellent tips on finding hidden assumptions in your stories. I like the book so much that I just bought a copy for a tester who works for me and told him to go home, read it, and not come back until he has so that we can discuss how to put some of the book's advice into practice. Everyone working on an agile project (not just XP and not just testers) will benefit from this book. It is one of the best-written and most useful in the entire series.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Maxim Masiutin on November 20, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a professional tester's perspective of being involved into an XP project. The book will invigorate the testers who never worked in XP environment to start doing this practice. The book starts with an introductory overview on XP, which is self-contained and should be easily understood by any tester, unless he or she has prejudices against XP. This introduction is helpful for those who inherently would like to use XP. The skeptical readers should first take attention to Kent Beck's "Extreme Programming Explained".
For those who don't like to imagine of someone in the tester "role" on an XP project, the authors encourage to think of having a programmer with a "tester focus". The authors define the tester role to fill the communication gap between the user and the programmers.
For those who are already practicing XP, this book should be a good repetition of the core XP practices. If you like to refresh in memory the essential aspects of XP, read this book. The authors give their own vantage point on XP, which compliments the original Kent Beck's idea.
This book also contains the introduction to some automated test tools like JUnit (a testing framework for Java) or JWebArt (an HTTP-based web testing tool). However, the JUnit introduction given in this book won't help great deal to the C++ programmers, because the CppUnit, the C++ testing framework, have sufficient differences from JUnit. What the XP community who work with C++ really miss at the date of publication of this book is a good CppUnit manual.
The book also have essential focus on story estimation and iteration planning, from the tester's perspective. However, from the programmer's point of view, this book contain very few useful ideas. The programmers might want to refer to Ron Jeffries' "Extreme Programming Installed" for some useful testing strategies, tips and tricks.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steve Berczuk VINE VOICE on January 19, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book explains, in detail, the value of having a tester role on an XP project. Much of what is written on XP focuses on the role of developers in writing tests, and this book will help you understand the value that testing professionals can add to an XP, or other agile, project. The function of a tester changes when a team applies XP; In the spirt of lean software development, this book shows you how to apply the skills of testers in a new environment. One minor flaw in the book is that it is targeted at testers. While testers need to understand how to apply their skills to an XP environment, others such as Coaches, programmers and project managers also need to understand the value of testers.

Get this book if you are a tester, developer, coach, or project manager to understand how testers can improve your XP project.
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