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Bridging the Communication Gap: Specification by Example and Agile Acceptance Testing Paperback – 5 Jan 2009
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About the Author
Gojko Adzic was bitten by the specification-by-example bug five years ago. He has helped numerous teams implement these practices, written two previous books on the subject and contributed to several open source projects supporting specification by example. Gojko is a frequent speaker at leading software development and testing conferences and runs the UK Agile Testing User Group.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is an excellent introduction to agile acceptance testing explaining the concepts, tools available and practices. The book reads very well and the author has also obviously done his research and I learnt a lot from reading it having only recently fully embraced agile methodologies.
If the thought of developing software without the ambiguity of requirements appeals to you, this is the book to read.
He makes sense in a field where relatively few people actually know what they're talking about. At the core, he understands that specification examples are about communication, with regression as a bonus, and that it takes effort and taste to get the (substantial) benefits from applying the technique.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What is it? Agile Acceptance Testing is a technique for closing the communication gap between business, developers and testers. A way to write specifications as examples which become executable. The specification are created together in a workshop and not handed over like traditional requirements.
The book is written in four parts. The first part is an introduction to the topic, describes an overview of the technique. An important part of this part (and the whole book) is the focus on communication instead of test. This is reflected in the excellent discussion about naming. Agile Acceptance Testing is perhaps one of the most poorly named practices, but... still... thats the name it became popular with (or with A-TDD). The second part is the most important parts of the book, which describes how to write specifications, why to work with examples, how to run specification workshops and what to do after these workshops. The part ends with a discussion about change in projects and how the automated acceptance test help with that.
The third part discusses implementation. It starts with how to fit this technique in an iteration and how to adopt the practice. Next is a chapter on user stories and its relationship with acceptance tests. Then the part dives in the tools by first covering the current tools and then discussing the requirements for the future tools. The last part of the book describes the impact of agile acceptance testing on the different functions: business analyst, developer and tester.
Bridging the Communication Gap is a small book (300 pages) and is easy to read. It could have been smaller, the writing is sometimes a little too wordy. It doesn't contain too much pictures, which is too bad when a book talks so much about workshops. Yet, despite these drawbacks, I think this is an excellent book and a much needed contribution to the modern software development/agile development literature. It was one of the few practices that did not have its own book yet and Gojko provided that.
I was doubting between 4 and 5 stars for this review. 4 because this book is certainly not perfect. 5 stars because it is good still. Because this is a first in a new area and because I consider this an important area, I decided to go for 5 stars. This will certainly be a book that I will be recommending to other people (and in fact, I already have). Great work Gojko!
This book not only explains how to use examples to understand requirements and create tests that drive coding, it explains the cultural shift needed for successful software development. The author explains the communication gap, why we should care about it, and how we can fix it.
Whether you're new to agile development, or are on an experienced team wondering why you keep missing or misunderstanding the business requirements, this book delivers critical value.
Thet second big lesson that the book describes is how specifications can me made more clear by working together as a team and saving lots of time when we store the specifications in testing tools in a format that customers can read and understand.
Personally I find the style of writing rather dry so pushing ahead through the material takes some commitment, but it is worth it. The lessons, techniques and value of the results provide an excellent payoff.