- Series: Artech House Computing Library
- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: Artech House (January 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 158053791X
- ISBN-13: 978-1580537919
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #860,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design
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About the Author
Lee Copeland is a consultant in the areas of testing methodologies, test management and web site testing at Software Quality Engineering. He has more than twenty-five years experience as an information systems professional specializing in software development and process improvement.
Top customer reviews
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I think the price is a bit high compared to a related book (Systematic Software Testing by Rick D Craig and Stefan P Jaskeil). I managed to get the other book (536 pages) for about $40.00. While the other book represents much better value, I still bought this one and would do it again. If you can only buy one, I'd suggest getting Systematic Software Testing.
Like most managers, I don't have hours on end to dedicate to reading. However, this book is a very easy read. I actually thought I had gotten something too basic because the chapters on equivalence class partitioning and boundary values were extremely simple. Yet Copeland called out that testers and developers have probably used these techniques intuitively without formally knowing the official techniques. Things got much more interesting in chapters 5-11 as Copeland covered techniques such as pairwise testing, domain analysis testing, and control flow testing. My favorite chapter was on pairwise testing because he listed different online resources for orthogonal arrays and pairwise testing. I was able to download and run James Bach's tool to generate test cases using a pairwise algorithm. I was also interested in his reference to the AT&T research site dedicated to orthogonal arrays. These techniques have complex mathematical principles at their foundation, but Copeland does a good job of focusing on how to use them rather than getting into the motivation and theory behind them.
Sections III and IV are more process-focused than specifically related to test case design, but these are useful for helping testers put the techniques in context to their daily work. There are two case studies included in the appendices, but I didn't find it necessary to refer to them in order to get what I needed out of this book. The chapters and summaries contain sufficient information for working through the vast majority of the exercises without referring to the case studies.
Overall, this is a very good book on the fundamentals of test case design. Copeland has done a great job of balancing substance with accessibility. For fun each chapter begins with a selection of a "bad writing" contest. While these have nothing to do with the material, it keeps his book from being a dry, boring, and ponderous work to read. I recommend this to anyone who wants to build their knowledge of test case design.
Copeland starts off with an overview of testing as a process, followed by case studies. These lay the foundation for the techniques for which a chapter is devoted to each technique. The chapters on the techniques are divided into collections of techniques that are most effective for blackbox (seven) and whitebox (two) testing. The next chapters are devoted to scripted testing with an emphasis on IEEE 829, exploratory testing, and test planning. The book wraps up with an outstanding chapter on software defect taxonomies, advice on when to stop testing, and case studies.
So why did I state this book is a page turner? Copeland has masterfully used humor, statements that catch you off guard, and a warm conversational style to hold your attention. Among the priceless gems of humor are the off-the-wall quotes that he uses in front of each chapter. One of many examples of how he holds your attention by catching you off guard is in Chapter 6 on pairwise testing: 'Why does pairwise testing work so well? I don't know', which he then follows up with one of the most cogent explanations of the technique I've had the pleasure of reading. As an aside, his treatment of pairwise testing - and the power of that technique - is reason enough to read this book.
Another aspect of this book I like is the thoroughness with which he presents techniques. This includes citing the work of other well known practitioners, using case studies, summaries, practice scenarios, and additional references for each chapter. Copeland also has a talent for clearly articulating and conveying complex topics and concepts, adding to this book's value as both courseware and a working reference.
If you are a software testing professional, or you are responsible for teaching this discipline this is one of the top books in my opinion. It is not as wide in scope as Software Testing: A Craftsman's Approach (ISBN: 0849308097), but it makes up for that by covering the essentials in the clearest possible manner.