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Gojko Adzic (London)

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Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests (Beck Signature)
Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests (Beck Signature)
by Steve Freeman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.59

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally an advanced TDD book, 20 Nov 2009
Growing Object Oriented Software, Guided by Tests, by Steve Freeman and Nat Pryce is a TDD book, but unlike any other on the market today. First of all, the book deals mostly with advanced unit testing topics, such as designing tests for readability and mocking, and addresses many common stumbling points that people experience with unit testing a few years after they started their journey, such as applying unit testing in multi-threaded and asynchronous environments. Second, it explains and demonstrates in practice the dynamics of designing software through TDD, which is still a dark art for many programmers. And third, it gives the reader insight into Freeman's and Pryce's brains, which is why this book is a must-read for anyone serious about unit testing, even to people that have been doing it in the last century.

Given the authors' backgrounds, it's not surprising that this book has a lot to say about using mock object libraries. Mock objects are arguably the most misunderstood and misused concept in software development today, so this book should be a valuable resource for most software development teams. In the part dealing with mock objects you will find strategies for using them successfully for software design, guidelines what to mock and what not to mock and lots of examples how all that looks in code.

The book isn't written in the usual imperative way ("you should use this because of...") but reads much more as an experience report ("we use this because of"). This might be unusual at first but I really like it, as it puts the things into a much more different perspective. Many of the topics addressed by this book are quite controversial and the authors have wisely chosen the voice to avoid any notion of preaching. I found myself disagreeing with parts, especially around bundling acceptance and end-to-end testing together. However, as the material doesn't preach but tell what the authors are thinking about, this did not bother me at all.

All in all, an excellent book. Grab a copy now.

Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley Signature)
Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley Signature)
by Lisa Crispin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £27.80

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, long overdue, 23 Feb 2009
The main theme of this book is fitting testing tasks into agile projects, and as such this book really is long overdue. Most agile books are written by programmers for programmers, leaving testers in particular to fend for themselves. No wonder why so many of them feel lost in this world. This book definitely delivers on the promise to ease the transition for testers and QA engineers who suddenly found themselves on an agile project. It has a testing focus and presents things in a way that testers, coming from more traditional process oriented software projects, should understand. The key pillars of practice on which the content of this book stands are improved communication, the whole team approach, agile testing quadrants and automation, so the book efficiently points traditional testers to new knowledge and ideas that they need to focus on to contribute to an agile project. It also provides a solid framework for executing traditional testing tasks in an agile environment without lagging behind the development and causing the project to fall into the "mini-waterfall" trap.

I would also recommend it to project managers and team leaders as they will be able to see the project from the testers' eyes and complement their knowledge about quality on agile projects. As such, it is especially an important reading for teams that consider JUnit the extent of their "testing" process. The book raises valid concerns about commonly overlooked tasks such as test planning, security, performance and usability testing, documentation testing and provides some very practical advice how to plan and execute exploratory testing efficiently.

The Best Software Writing I: Selected and Introduced by Joel Spolsky
The Best Software Writing I: Selected and Introduced by Joel Spolsky
by Joel Spolsky
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.83

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your usual software book, 13 Oct 2006
Straight from the cover, it's clear that this is not a usual "software book". The Best Software Writing I is a collection of weblog posts from 2004, hand picked by Joel Spolsky. This book is a true mirror of the blogging community, displaying all the variety of Web - articles range from three picture comics to 15 page essays, comming straight from the minds of programming celebrities like Ken Arnold, Bruce Eckel and Ron Jeffries, but also people of whom you probably never heard and some who even remained anonymous. With such mix-and-match combination this book covers typical software topics like coding style, usability and overtime, but also lessons learned from project failures, appraisals of great hackers, transaction management strategies in coffee shops and software autism.

The book lives up to its title and truly is a great collection of thoughts, rants, insights and humor. It is not something that will grab your attention and push you to read it from cover to cover in a single breath, but rather like web itself, allows you to jump from topic to topic, tuning in and out at your convenience.

An obvious question raised by the very concept of this book is why should someone pay for content that can be freely downloaded - in my eyes, having such gems compiled, cleaned from the weblog trash of `top 10 ways', `best 5 libraries' or `worst 7 mistakes', and packed into less than 300 pages of paper which you can carry while commuting, is well worth it.

The I in the title suggests that this book was intended to be first in a series, but it seems that the sequel was not yet published - it would really be a shame if Apress do not follow this up with Best Software Writing II.
Gojko Adzic

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