Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours, and Techniques to Guide Test Design

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Pearson Education, Aug 25, 2009 - Computers - 256 pages
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How to Find and Fix the Killer Software Bugs that Evade Conventional Testing

In Exploratory Software Testing, renowned software testing expert James Whittaker reveals the real causes of today’s most serious, well-hidden software bugs--and introduces powerful new “exploratory” techniques for finding and correcting them.

Drawing on nearly two decades of experience working at the cutting edge of testing with Google, Microsoft, and other top software organizations, Whittaker introduces innovative new processes for manual testing that are repeatable, prescriptive, teachable, and extremely effective. Whittaker defines both in-the-small techniques for individual testers and in-the-large techniques to supercharge test teams. He also introduces a hybrid strategy for injecting exploratory concepts into traditional scripted testing. You’ll learn when to use each, and how to use them all successfully.

Concise, entertaining, and actionable, this book introduces robust techniques that have been used extensively by real testers on shipping software, illuminating their actual experiences with these techniques, and the results they’ve achieved. Writing for testers, QA specialists, developers, program managers, and architects alike, Whittaker answers crucial questions such as:

• Why do some bugs remain invisible to automated testing--and how can I uncover them?

• What techniques will help me consistently discover and eliminate “show stopper” bugs?

• How do I make manual testing more effective--and less boring and unpleasant?

• What’s the most effective high-level test strategy for each project?

• Which inputs should I test when I can’t test them all?

• Which test cases will provide the best feature coverage?

• How can I get better results by combining exploratory testing with traditional script or scenario-based testing?

• How do I reflect feedback from the development process, such as code changes?


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User Review  - jayacarl - LibraryThing

Very little content beyond his webinar. See James Bach's body of work for actual help with exploritory testing. Read full review


Foreword by Alan Page
The Case for Software Quality
The Case for Manual Testing
Exploratory Testing in the Large
Hybrid Exploratory Testing Techniques
Exploratory Testing in Practice
Touring and Testings Primary Pain Points
The Future of Software Testing
Appendix A Building a Successful Career in Testing
Appendix B A Selection of JWs Professorial Blog
An Annotated Transcript of JWs Microsoft Blog

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About the author (2009)

James Whittaker has spent his career in software testing and has left his mark on many aspects of the discipline. He was a pioneer in the field of model-based testing, where his Ph.D. dissertation from the University of Tennessee stands as a standard reference on the subject. His work in fault injection produced the highly acclaimed runtime fault injection tool Holodeck, and he was an early thought leader in security and penetration testing. He is also well regarded as a teacher and presenter, and has won numerous best paper and best presentation awards at international conferences. While a professor at Florida Tech, his teaching of software testing attracted dozens of sponsors from both industry and world governments, and his students were highly sought after for their depth of technical knowledge in testing.

Dr. Whittaker is the author of How to Break Software and its series follow- ups How to Break Software Security (with Hugh Thompson) and How to Break Web Software (with Mike Andrews). After ten years as a professor, he joined Microsoft in 2006 and left in 2009 to join Google as the Director of Test Engineering for the Kirkland and Seattle offices. He lives in Woodinville, Washington, and is working toward a day when software just works.

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