- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (April 2, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321803027
- ISBN-13: 978-0321803023
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How Google Tests Software 1st Edition
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About the Author
James Whittaker is an engineering director at Google and has been responsible for testing Chrome, maps, and Google web apps. He used to work for Microsoft and was a professor before that. James is one of the best-known names in testing the world over.
Jason Arbon is a test engineer at Google and has been responsible for testing Google Desktop, Chrome, and Chrome OS. He also served as development lead for an array of open-source test tools and personalization experiments. He worked at Microsoft prior to joining Google.
Jeff Carollo is a software engineer in test at Google and has been responsible for testing Google Voice, Toolbar, Chrome, and Chrome OS. He has consulted with dozens of internal Google development teams helping them improve initial code quality. He converted to a software engineer in 2010 and leads development of Google+ APIs. He also worked at Microsoft prior to joining Google."
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The argument is aligns well with the movement toward agile software development methods. The book goes on to breakdown testing responsibilities for software engineers (SWEs), software engineers in a test role (SETs), and Test Engineers (TEs). Almost half of the book deals with the roles and responsibilities of the TE, and in the Google model, they do have a higher-level role in testing. In essence, it breaks down like this:
* SWEs write unit tests for the software they write
* SETs write tools to enable testing without external dependencies and write automated functional tests
* TEs coordinate the overall testing activities for a product and focus on the user by doing exploratory testing
In addition, the book also outlines a number of tools (many of which have been open-sourced) that Google uses for testing in the context of these roles. The majority of the content focuses on web applications (it's Google after all), and some of the ideas won't apply if the majority of your development is for internal customers to your company - since you probably have user training and rules about frequency of release. However, I would say that you could apply 80% of the ideas in any context and probably adapt at least 10% (if not more) of the others to your situation.
Also, there is also a chapter on test managers and directors that has interviews with a number of prominent Googlers. Then, the book ends with a discussion on the future of the SET and TE roles at Google along with some of the errors Google made.
Google embarked on the transformation in 2007, and my company is currently trying to do something similar. I hope to be able to leverage these ideas in the months ahead. I recommend it to anyone who is or expects to be involved in such a change. I would also recommend it to any tester in an agile development shop. You may not agree with everything in the book, but tells of the future (if not the present) for much of the software testing industry.
The end of the book was a surprise. It made me envision a future where quality was just built into the framework for developing applications and not something bolted on at the end. The tools are getting better and the practices are improving to the level that testers can focus on the user experience and not basic correctness.
The hope for testers is that they will be more of a user advocate than a button masher.
If you are thinking about purchasing this book, look at the preview first. It might be easy to read on a Kindle or IPad.