Thursday 26 September 2013

Book review, The A word by Alan Page

Alan "Angryweasel" Page published a book some months ago about software testing automation, you can find the book here at leanpub and even that you can download it for free, you can also pay something for it as the incomes will go to the American cancer society.

In my case, I though that the price of a couple of beers was good enough, but after reading the book twice, I think it went a bit cheap for my side.
What is the book like... it's a tiny 58 page book that can be read in two hours if you feel like doing so. It is written in plain English with articles extracted from his blog that have been edited and updated.
What can you get out of it... some simple ideas about automated test design and that you should automate all of what you should automate, understanding how your automated test suite smells, and things to consider when doing test design.
Who should read this book... if you know what automated software testing is about, if you think you know what automated software testing is about, or if you don't know what is the difference between these two, you should read the book.
Some quotes I liked:
"Good testers test first – or at the very least they think of tests first. I think great testers (or at least the testers I consider great) first think about how they’re going to approach a testing problem, then figure out what’s suitable for automation, and what’s not suitable. I say that like it’s easy – it’s not."
"As software testers, our job is to test software. That probably sounds stupid (it sounds stupid to me as I type it), but test automation is just one tool from our tester toolbox that we can use to solve a specific set of testing problems."

"When designing tests, it’s important to think about how automation can (or won’t) make the testing more efficient."

"Designing good tests is one of the hardest tasks in software development. That’s worth saying again."

"Your job as a tester is to test software and not to create the largest test suite known to humankind."

"Automation is overused and overvalued in software – while the coding of diagnostic and analysis tools is extremely undervalued."

The very first day this book came out +Michael Larsen blogged the full book review on his blog, just three hours later, in the fastest book review I've ever seen, but just as Mr Miagi did not ask Daniel-san to use a waxing machine, I still feel like trying my own review.

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