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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anyone serious about QA should read this book.
Having spent the past fifteen years working in the software industry with more than a decade exclusively devoted to the concentration of Quality Assurance (QA), I find this book to be extremely useful for anyone desiring or requiring information about the processes and mindset related to ensuring successful software releases. Though there are numerous possible...
Published on 8 Aug 1999

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overly long and tedious
While I was reading the first 4 chapters, I truly questioned myself as to whether I could surmount the dull repetitiveness that I was experiencing. How many times is it necessary to tell the poor reader that automatic testing has upfront costs, and that payback might not be till version 2.0? After that it improved somewhat, still not exactly concise and to the point...
Published on 12 April 2000


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overly long and tedious, 12 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance (Paperback)
While I was reading the first 4 chapters, I truly questioned myself as to whether I could surmount the dull repetitiveness that I was experiencing. How many times is it necessary to tell the poor reader that automatic testing has upfront costs, and that payback might not be till version 2.0? After that it improved somewhat, still not exactly concise and to the point. The appendix covering commercial products looks like it's been lifted from a bundle of marketing brochures.

The book contains almost no technical content. Whether it's true or not, for me this book did nothing to dispel the adage that testers are developers that couldn't cut the mustard. For example, P. 36, is it necessary to quote an authority for the number of password combinations? How to calculate it isn't difficult at all. Then on P. 372, where a rare equation does slip in, it is incorrect (at least in my edition).

The emphasis is very heavily on PCs, Visual Basic and Databases and the United States of America. Unix and C++ do get passing mentions (though Microsoft Visual C++ is called "Visual C").

I haven't yet had the courage to read the Adobe PDF files shipped on the accompanying CD-ROM. I did have a quick look, and it seemed to be just more repetition of the content of the book.

Edit: 2007-05-16
For me, Software Test Automation by Mark Fewster and Dorothy Graham is a _much_ better book. Far more concrete and practical.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anyone serious about QA should read this book., 8 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance (Paperback)
Having spent the past fifteen years working in the software industry with more than a decade exclusively devoted to the concentration of Quality Assurance (QA), I find this book to be extremely useful for anyone desiring or requiring information about the processes and mindset related to ensuring successful software releases. Though there are numerous possible approaches for accomplishing QA efficiency, there are equally as many paths leading to failure and inefficieny. Fortunately, this book lends itself to the principles and practices for achieving success on a project, on a departmental, and on an individual basis. Without doubt, whether you are a novice or an expert, you will gain at least one useful piece to the QA puzzle.
Some of the areas which might be considered improvements for a future edition include any/all of the following:
Without exception, there is no mention or discussion on incorporating 'disk imaging' into the QA life cycle. How can you test incremental builds efficiently, with confidence, and stay within budget if the QA or IS department spends half of EACH day rebuilding a PC client and/or server with a 'virgin' OS, network and printing drivers, QA automation applications and preferred settings, and a 'clean' registry? See [webpage] for specifics of "Ghost" software.
A very useful code coverage analysis tool with is completely integration with Microsoft's Developer Studio was missed. The vendor is NuMega DevPartner and the related internet link is [online].
Consider using Visio 2000...for illustrations/diagrams (e.g. pps. 9, 11, 15, 29, 31, 69, 415). This software package has won many product awards and has been adopted by millions of users in all aspects of society including authoring and printing.
Issues stated by page number:
Page 11 - Reduce the table content and synchornize the various section numbers to the table: Section 1: 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 as section 1 Section 2: 1.3 (and budget/skills), 2.4 (and implementation) Section 3: 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2 Section 4: 4.3, 4.4, 5.1 Section 5: 5.2 - 5.4 Section 6: 5.5, 6.1 Section 7: Test reporting (audience, criteria, frequency, and methodology) Input from MKT, MGT, DEV, DOCS, QA, and CUSTOMERS (e.g. Microsoft Office)
Page 23 - Consider adding an internet site list, and in the chapter where career paths are discussed [online].
Page 25 - Within the Team Lead section on Table 1.4, the use of "for" should be "four".
Page 50 - has a good table, but bad reference declaration (difficult to follow). Same thing on Page 53. N is defined, but the meaning of the definition appears hidden on page 52 (e.g. "N").
Page 90 - good explanation of test tool evaluation, but re-prioritize factors such as: Pricing, Ease of Use, Tool Functionality, and Reporting Capability
For example, if one can't afford the tool, who cares if it's easy to use or has particular functionality? Similarly, if reports are not available or too cumbersome to obtain, how will you convince management that the investment in the tool was worthwhile?
Page 97 - I thoroughly disagree with the Guidelines for an Unsuitable Pilot Project discussion.
Page 99 - Excellent remarks on how to report on the evaluation of test tools.
Page 129 - An important issue with a naïve conclusion (anyone with any experience in QA knows about the implicitly defined "collapsed release cycle") is provided. This is what happens when development is late in achieving milestones related to GUI freeze, function complete, code complete, and bug fixes. Typically, QA is forced into overtime for the purpose of locating newly placed software defects and verifying bug fixes given a reduced time allotment (typically less than two weeks for setup, on-line documentation, and regression testing).
Page 134 - The test tool diagram content is excellent. Have you considered using Visio 2000 for diagrams?
Page 138 - A limited view of when to introduce an automated test tool is utilized. Have you considered the norm whereby an evolving application GUI and/or API causes QA test development efforts to be scrapped because of development redesign of or marketing influence to change product scope and content.
Page 143 - Good conclusion on when to utilize manual testing.
Pages 172-187 - Good section on how, who, why, where to recruit QA personnel
Page 213 - Project and/or QA reports via intranet has been overlooked. This is a major oversight and a de facto standard for large, small, business, scientific, UNIX, and NT specific software companies on the eastern and western coasts of the United States.
Page 217 - The test plan has merit, but is generic (even if database or client/server is the intended audience). At a minimum, a sample software project with QA tasks and milestones should be provided.
Page 241 - The term 'trouble report' is not common on the west coast. I've heard the term used in the midwest, northeast, and southeast regions of the United States who use this term frequently. Similar terms with a more implicit recognition are "bug reports" and "software defect issues".
Page 244 - Suggest adding a "suggestion" to search the web for white box testing and/or black box testing. For example...yahoo...has a great search mechanism for finding specific concepts pertaining to QA.
Page 252 - Again, there's no mention of disk imaging (see early comment)
Page 326 - A minor oversight but BOOLEAN has been omitted from the list of variable types.
Page 329 - Why not use "exit for" in an if-else-endif error/validity check inside the FOR loop discussion?
Page 364 - A single page dedicated to test output/logging? What good are automated tests without concrete examples of effective reports, on the intranet, and updated daily, weekly, or at major milestones such as baseline, GUI freeze, function complete, alpha release, beta release, and etc.
Page 378 - Good section on cost analysis of automation tools. Surprisingly, few QA managers know about this tool for persuading upper/executive management that "you've got to spend money to make money" is a valid concern.
Page 418 - As stated earlier, there's no mention of a great code coverage tools TrueCoverage (VB and VC++) BoundsChecker (works with Rational Visual Test, Microsoft Visual Basic, and Microsoft C++) by NuMega.
And finally, a 'quality' issue surfaces when attempting to access the ATLM.pdf file within the ATLM_Graphics directory of the enclosed CD results in the following:
Disclaimer: No monetary sum has been paid for review of this book (ISBN 0-201-43287-0), and all remarks/illustrations in this document are to be construed as opinions of Keith Wilson. You are free to distribute this document as allowed by applicable law.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last! How to conduct effective automated testing!, 12 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance (Paperback)
Remarkable book that every test engineer should read! Being a software programmer, I need the test engineers to work closely with us to help produce a successful product while staying on schedule, satisfying defined requirements and eliminating errors. The book defines a logical approach and provides best practices for the test engineer to provide a comprehensive and efficient automated software test program.
This book brings needed structure to the way the test team approaches their work. I've experienced two projects now where the introduction of automated testing was a considerable problem. Automated Software Testing guides the test engineer every step of the way from considering whether or not automation is beneficial to tool selection and introduction. Furthermore it lays out test planning requirements and provides instruction on how to design the test program to include both automated and manual tests. Our development team will be applying the book's test design guidance to our development test efforts.
Finally a book that outlines the pitfalls and provides solid examples of best practices that can be applied to automated software testing projects. Software developers everywhere should give a copy of this book to their test team.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better late than never, 16 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance (Paperback)
"Automated Software Testing" is one of those books that I wish had been available much earlier. An abundance of information that the test manager needs to know is compiled here comprehensively and in a very structured order. The order is not an incidental one, but rather a six step process called Automated Test Lifecycle Methodology (ATML). If this process is followed, the software development process could improve to a higher level of maturity. Each step is analysed carefully and supported by checklists, tables and decision helpers. In this book not only are the advantages of automated testing described but also warnings to avoid using automated testing when not applicable appear at the right places. The chapter Test Execution and Review enables the reader also to profit from the lessons learned at various test sites. I recommend to every test manager that this book resides on his or her office book shelf.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ATLM - Now our company standard, 20 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance (Paperback)
Don't know how our team managed without this book the past two years testing several incremental deliveries on a very large software development project. It's a simple fact that we struggled and received a lot of criticm from management.
Since obtaining this book we have immediately put it to good use. In fact we have adopted the book and particularly the ATLM as our company standard software testing approach.
Much thanks to the authors for doing such a comprehensive and thorough job of covering this topic. The use of this book is making my life on this project a whole lot more fulfilling.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading book for managers., 10 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance (Paperback)
This book is entirely management with no technical content. Worse, the authors seem to think they know the technical side, and thus may mislead readers into thinking that they understand it as well. A major problem in software testing is that it is typically practiced by people who can't program and can't do math, and managed by people who not only can't do either, but don't realize that both skills are important to effective testing.
I think we have enough process books ...
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for testing entire life cycle, 20 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance (Paperback)
This is the best (and perhaps only) book on the market that addresses entire system development life cycle testing. Automated Software Testing is very useful whether you are using the manual or automated test approach. We are converting to an automated test approach and some of the recommendations made in the book (particularly evaluating test tools) provided valuable insights. This book will pay for itself many times over and over.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The standard for Quality Assurance groups, 30 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance (Paperback)
If your organization is interested in having a mature automated testing process, you need this book. This book will guide you throughout the entire process from thinking about standards to implementing and maintaining them. After several years in QA, I did not have a complete appreciation for all the things that could and should be done until I read this book. I am using the information available in this book to implement the quality assurance process for my organization and I am making the book required reading for all testers. In addition to all the important information on testing in general, the book also contains many other useful resources including a wonderful sample test plan.
Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance is an invaluable resource for everyone involved in software quality assurance, from people thinking about entering the field to seasoned individuals who manage the testing process for their organization. If you are involved in QA or want to be involved, get this book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent step-by-step how to book!, 24 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance (Paperback)
Finally it is recognized that testing is a lifecycle of its own! Automating testing has so many nuances that many items can be easily overlooked. This book explains those items and provides a step-by-step guide for managers and testers to use to help ensure their testing effort is a success. As a manager of both testers and developers, I find this book to be incredibly helpful for for the complete testing lifecycle (as well as the development lifecycle). I have worked with the author (Elfriede Dustin) before and have learned much of my testing knowledge from her. I kept saying that I wish I had documented everything she taught me because the information was so valuable. Finally, I have Elfriede's experience documented. This book is now my testing bible!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book which illustrates the whole life cycle, 19 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance (Paperback)
The book discusses the manual Vs automated testing processes. It talks about when to apply automated testing and when not to. Since i'm an entry level tester this book proved to be very useful in understanding the pro and cons of the above processes. I would suggest that this book be a part of a college curriculum so students can get a good over view to a first introduction and a solid understanding of a 'Software Testing' methodology.
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