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Exploratory Software Testing

Book Review Team

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 959
Author/s : James A. Whittaker
Publisher : Addison-Wesley Professional
Category : Project Management, Process and Best Practices
Review by : Jeanne Boyarsky
Rating : 9 horseshoes

"Exploratory Software Testing" was a very enjoyable read. It is geared towards testers, but I think developers and informal testers can benefit from it as well.

My favorite section of the book was the "tours." This extended analogy compares vacation and testing. It points out different types of testing in a creative and memorable way. Examples:

- "morning commute" = startup
- "arrogant American" provides silly inputs
- "tourist district" differences between experienced/novice users

The author then provides case studies of how the tours were used at Microsoft. I really liked how he showed the importance of focusing on a completely different point of view in different tests.

The first 136 pages provide enough reasons to buy the book. The rest is the author's background, newsletter type posts from university and his Microsoft blog. While I'm not a fan of blog posts verbatium in a book, it was in an appendix at least.

If I could change three things about the book:
1) A list or table of the tours in one place
2) More consistency in the format of each Microsoft tester's description
3) Order the blog posts by topic rather than chronologically. Posts in a "series" should be together in printed form

As you can see, my biggest "complaints" about the book are quite minor.

And to make the FTC happy: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of JavaRanch.
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