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Explore It!: Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing [Paperback]

Elisabeth Hendrickson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 22.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Mar 2013 1937785025 978-1937785024 1

Uncover surprises, risks, and potentially serious bugs with exploratory testing. Rather than designing all tests in advance, explorers design and execute small, rapid experiments, using what they learned from the last little experiment to inform the next. Learn essential skills of a master explorer, including how to analyze software to discover key points of vulnerability, how to design experiments on the fly, how to hone your observation skills, and how to focus your efforts.

Software is full of surprises. No matter how careful or skilled you are, when you create software it can behave differently than you intended. Exploratory testing mitigates those risks.

Part 1 introduces the core, essential skills of a master explorer. You'll learn to craft charters to guide your exploration, to observe what's really happening (hint: it's harder than it sounds), to identify interesting variations, and to determine what expected behavior should be when exercising software in unexpected ways.

Part 2 builds on that foundation. You'll learn how to explore by varying interactions, sequences, data, timing, and configurations. Along the way you'll see how to incorporate analysis techniques like state modeling, data modeling, and defining context diagrams into your explorer's arsenal.

Part 3 brings the techniques back into the context of a software project. You'll apply the skills and techniques in a variety of contexts and integrate exploration into the development cycle from the very beginning.

You can apply the techniques in this book to any kind of software. Whether you work on embedded systems, Web applications, desktop applications, APIs, or something else, you'll find this book contains a wealth of concrete and practical advice about exploring your software to discover its capabilities, limitations, and risks.

Frequently Bought Together

Explore It!: Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing + Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context Driven Approach + Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley Signature)
Price For All Three: 79.78

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (3 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937785025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937785024
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 19 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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""Reading this book taught me new skills and heuristics; but even better, it helped me channel my tester "spidey sense" more creatively and usefully. I keep this book handy at all times and occasionally do one of the practice sessions to keep my awareness keen. Explore It! helps me make sure our customers and our company get real value from our software. It'll help you too.""--Lisa Crispin, Coauthor with Janet Gregory, "Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams"""""Explore It! starts with a bang. Elisabeth catches your imagination and has filled the book with practical ideas for exploring everything from your typical GUI scenarios to testing ideas (requirements), and she even includes suggestions for programmers on how to explore low-level code. This book should be on every development team member's desk, not only testers. It is the book I carry with me whenever I introduce exploratory testing to development teams.""--Janet Gregory, Coauthor with Lisa Crispin, "Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams"

About the Author

Elisabeth Hendrickson is a tester, developer, and Agile enabler. A seasoned veteran, she wrote her first line of code in 1980, and almost immediately found her first bug. In 2010 she won the prestigious Gordon Pask Award from the Agile Alliance. She is best known for her Google Tech Talk on Agile Testing as well as her wildly popular Test Heuristics Cheatsheet. She splits her time between teaching, speaking, writing, programming, and working on Agile teams that value her obsession with testing.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An important and enjoyable book 18 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book, though short, contains a thorough treatment of exploratory testing. You might worry that a book about testing will make dull reading, but Elisabeth's prose is engaging and easy-to-read. Chapter after chapter of good advice and useful insights will be valuable to testers new and old.

My only worry is that once reading this book, testers at typical employers will become disenchanted. Most organisations have such a poor attitude to testing that they are still manually running the regression tests that should have been automated (quadrant 2 in the Agile Testing Quadrants), and consequently never have time for scheduled exploratory testing. Maybe this book can contribute to turning those organisations around. I hope so.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best software testing books ever written 4 Mar 2013
By Justin Hunter - Published on Amazon.com
Explore It! is one of the very best software testing books ever written. It is packed with great ideas and Elisabeth Hendrickson’s writing style makes it very enjoyable to read. Elisabeth Hendrickson has a well-deserved global reputation in the software testing community as someone who has the enviable ability to clearly communicate highly-practical, well-thought-out ideas. Tens of thousands of software testers who have already read her “Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet” no doubt already appreciate her uncanny ability to clearly convey an impressive number of actionable ideas with a minimal use of ink and paper. A pdf download of the cheat sheet is available here. If you’re impressed by how much useful stuff Hendrickson can pack into one double-sided sheet of paper, you should see what she can do with 160 pages.

Testers at all levels of experience will benefit from this book. Like the best TED talks, Explore It! contains advanced ideas, yet those ideas are presented in way that is both interesting and accessible to a broad audience. Beginning testers will benefit from learning about the fundamentals of Exploratory Testing (an important and incredibly useful approach to software testing that is increasingly getting the respect it deserves). Experienced testers will benefit from practical insights, frameworks for thinking about challenges that bedevil all of us, and Hendrickson’s unmatched ability to clearly explain important aspects of testing (including her superb explanations of test design principles).

Chapter 4 “Find Interesting Variations” in itself is worth far more than the price of the book. It is my favorite chapter in any software testing book I have ever read. A large part of the reason I have so much appreciation for this chapter is that I have personally been teaching software testers how to create interesting variations in their testing efforts for the last six years and know from experience that it can be a challenging topic to explain. I was excited to see how thoroughly Hendrickson covered this important topic because relatively few software testing books address it. I was humbled by how effortlessly Hendrickson seemed to make this complex topic easy to understand.

Buy it. You won’t regret it. I’m buying multiple copies to give to developers and testers at my company as well as multiple copies to give to our clients.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm a big fan! 12 Sep 2013
By Joseph S. Strazzere - Published on Amazon.com
I've been a fan of Elizabeth Hendrickson for a long time - from her Quality Tree Software days, to her Test Obsessed blog. I've had a copy of her famous "Test Heuristic Cheat Sheet" (included in the book) pretty much forever. And on my bookshelf, I even have a copy of her Bug Hunter's Journal that she sent me many years ago.

So I was thrilled when Elizabeth asked me to review a pre-publication version of her upcoming book on Exploratory Testing titled "Explore It!" I had read other books on the subject, and was less than thrilled with what I had read, so I was eager to see Elizabeth's treatment of the subject.

I wasn't surprised with the results. In her usual informal writing style, Hendrickson has packed the book with real-world, easy to understand examples sprinkled in. I found it both interesting and fun.

The chapter titles will give you an idea of the topics covered in Explore It!:
- On Testing and Exploration
- Charter Your Explorations
- Observe the Details
- Find Interesting Variations
- Evaluate Results
- Vary Sequences and Interactions
- Explore Entities and Their Relationships
- Discover States and Transitions
- Explore the Ecosystem
- Explore When There Is No User Interface
- Explore an Existing System
- Explore Requirements
- Integrate Exploration Throughout
- Interviewing for Exploratory Testing Skills
- Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet

In each chapter, Ms. Hendrickson encourages you to think, to experiment, and to explore the various aspects of your system-under-test. Then, she provides real-world, practical ideas for how to do just that.

Unless you are the kind of unfortunate tester forced to do nothing but follow a pre-written script, you already perform some exploratory testing.

In "Explore It!", Elisabeth Hendrickson teaches you how to think about Exploratory Testing, and how to make it a regular, planned, and effective part of your testing practice.

This is the kind of book I purchase for everyone on my Test Team. Maybe you should get it for team, too?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elisabeth Hendrickson rocks! 9 Aug 2013
By Cathie - Published on Amazon.com
I have had the privilege of attending Elisabeth's presentations in the past. This book is like that - full of useful information that can be applied immediately. I do regular SQA book club meetings with my team - this one is next on the list - i can't wait to see the team's reaction.

As someone who has been in this business a long time and read almost every tome out there, I would highly recommend this book- especially for teams that are adopting exploratory testing to supplement automation in an agile process or planning for session based testing in a waterfall method.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about software testing 1 May 2013
By Jonas - Published on Amazon.com
I love this book! It's short, to the point and has great content. I am pretty new when it comes to doing software testing as a profession and this book helped me a lot, not just with exploratory testing but also with how to write design tests in general. There are some lists of test ideas that are very useful when I run out of ideas about what to test.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For new and experienced testers! 9 Mar 2013
By Teri Charles - Published on Amazon.com
I just finished Elisabeth Hendrickson's new book, Explore It! This is a book for new and experienced Testers alike. Elisabeth Hendrickson has a way of breaking things down to make it easy for anyone to understand some of the ins and outs of exploratory testing. It's like she peeled away the noise to get down to the good stuff. I've been a software tester for years and immediately found myself using some of the things she talked about. This will definitely be one of my go-to resources in my library for years to come. I've proudly told other testers about this book and will continue to do so.
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