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S. Salahuddin "Athena" (Sheffield, UK)

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How We Test Software at Microsoft (PRO-best Practices)
How We Test Software at Microsoft (PRO-best Practices)
by Alan Page
Edition: Paperback
Price: 27.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable & Worth Reading!, 22 July 2009
What really got my attention was the title! It is simple, but yet every tester would be curious to find out how they test at Microsoft! Yes, we can be sarcastic and ask `Do they Test at all at Microsoft? But the fact is that if you are a software tester, at some stage you have most likely used one of their products!

So now moving on to the book itself! After reading the first few pages I thought it was going to be more Microsoft centric and less about the testing (I was proven wrong later in the book)! Although, I must admit I enjoyed every bit of the first part. The book has been divided in four parts, Part I is `About Microsoft', Part II is `About Testing', Part III is `Test Tools & Systems' and Part IV is `About the Future'.
These parts consist of chapters, ranging from Software Engineering at Microsoft in Part I to Analysing Risk with Code Complexity in Part II to Testing Software Plus Services in Part III and concluding with Solving Tomorrow's Problems Today in Part IV.

In Part I, of course I enjoyed reading about the details of software engineering at Microsoft, but I particularly enjoyed the tester DNA term! I think it could be used very usefully to demonstrate testing needs specialised skills! Also, the career path diagrams are particularly useful to understand what career paths potentially exist in software testing.

Part II, focuses more on software testing techniques. I will not discuss this in too much detail as the material contained is what you would expect. But what makes these chapters easier to read than testing techniques for a certification is the fact that the techniques are illustrated with practical examples, the authors explain techniques which we as testers are assumed to know completely. So this part is particularly useful for testers who are involved with test case designing.

Part III of the book focuses on Test Tools and Systems. It starts with an excellent chapter on `Managing Bugs & Test Cases'. And I say excellent, because I just couldn't put the book down when I was reading this chapter. The concept of the Bug bar is very interesting, though I am not sure how that would be applicable to a scenario where the developer is only assigned for bug fixing. It also discusses the concept of bug triage. The remaining chapters discuss automation, non-functional testing and information about tools, customer feedback, and testing software plus services.

Part IV is all about the future. It briefly describes the challenges that Microsoft faces, and I suppose by the time you are reading this chapter you are most likely thinking about challenges that your team or you as a software test professional would be facing. How much can the challenges being faced by Microsoft generalised. But the best thing about the last part is this quote by Machiavelli and its parallels in software testing, with which I will conclude this review!
Machiavelli wrote, "In the beginning of the malady it is easy to cure but difficult to detect, but in the course of time not having been either detected or treated in the beginning, it becomes easy to detect but difficult to cure"

Manual of the Warrior of Light
Manual of the Warrior of Light
by Paulo Coelho
Edition: Paperback

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful companion for the soul!, 4 Aug 2006
The first book I read was the Alchemist, and I loved it. Then I read Zahir and now this Manual. The manual is truly inspiring and motivational. I started reading it while I was feeling low and some how I could relate to being the warrior as myself. It is a wonderful read if you are low, for it will provide you the energy to get out of the lows and move ahead...And if you are already confident then it will give you reasons to reflect and be more thoughtful! A beautiful companion for the soul!

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