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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1949 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Effective Software Testing
Elfriede Dustin
Daire Stockdale
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This is an 'exactly what it says on the tin' type of book. Inside its covers you will find fifty clearly written and very specific suggestions as to how you can improve your software testing. They are grouped into ten headings, as follows; requirements, planning, the team, system architecture, design and documentation, unit testing, automated testing tools, selected best practises in automated testing, non-functional testing and managing test execution. I liked the writing style, which is very clear, concise and to the point and coupled with the fact that I was nodding in agreement in every section, makes this a pleasant book to read. I would even go so far as to say the author should simply publish the 50 topic headings, which are all imperatives such as 'Involve Testers from the Beginning', as they would make a useful check-list to beginning any project.

If I had to have a complaint about this book, it's that perhaps some of the items are a little too obvious, e.g. Item 19 'Verify That the System Supports Debug and Release Execution Modes'. It's difficult to imagine a project where this would be omitted. This probably isn't a fair criticism, as the inclusion of such items makes for a thorough list of items on a testing wish-list, but if you consider yourself experienced in planning testing, then you might find that although you agree with almost all of the book, you have actually learned little from it. I would argue that the book's relatively low price would still make it a worthwhile investment for a company, if only as a useful set of guidelines for planning project testing. For a small or new company considering taking testing and quality assurance more seriously, then this book is also a good starting point for developing a company policy.