Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2010
In Effective Software Testing Elfriede Dustin gave the software testing community their version of Scott Meyers' landmark Effective C++ which was in its first edition in 1992. Meyers created a style that software professionals have loved and other authors have emulated in which "items" are numbered which address specific and sometimes complex issues related to the subject at hand. Dustin applies this same style to the testing discipline with a high degree of success. Since the TOC is available for browsing on the product page, I won't repeat all of the high level topic areas in detail here. However, the items covered address a broad level of topics from foundations for all testing practices to specific areas in unit, functional, and non-functional testing. I recently became the manager for my company's automation and performance testing team after having spent 13 years in application development. I had some exposure to testing on the periphery of the projects that I've worked on, but there were aspects that I had not considered either fully or at all. While I don't have direct responsibility for functional testing, I found the material here beneficial to understand the big picture of testing organizations and how my team's work supports the functional testing.

One way that Effective Software Testing differs from its C++ cousin is that it does tend to be more theoretical with general advice and guidelines. For managers looking for a good overview of testing along with good principles to abide by, this is a good place to start. However, there is a lot of detail or "rubber meets the road" type of material. Topics like equivalence partitioning and orthogonal arrays are described in a more qualitative way. I plan to look to other publications for a more detailed treatment of these topics. I didn't find any material that I disagreed with or that didn't resonate with my new role and responsibilities. I would recommend this book to managers new to software testing or managers and testers who are looking to improve their overall testing organization. With 50 items that span a mere 258 pages, it is very easy to read in spurts which is often necessary for the limited time that managers and other professionals have. Even at one item a day at the beginning of the day or over lunch, you can complete the book in 10 weeks. I think it will be worth your investment of time and money.

Overall: A
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