Channels ▼

Developer's Reading List

, March 13, 2012 The best books to recently roll of the presses cover malware analysis, test automation, C#, and programming your home.
  • E-mail
  • Print

Experiences of Test Automation

Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster
Addison Wesley

The authors, who are well known for their classic work, Software Test Automation, dig into a selection of case studies for this book. In this effort, the authors are really assemblers and editors of the collection, rather than the actual writers. Instead each case history, or more accurately war story, the tale is written by the folks who lived it. This gives the stories a greater narrative presence, but means that the quality of the narratives varies. Most of them are very interesting, however. For example, the problems that Google ran into trying to automate the testing of its ill-fated Webmaster tools. To their credit, the authors name names and talk about the deficiencies of specific products. I like the candor but recognize that this aspect immediately dates the book, as products change and even improve over time.

All the stories ring true and at times uncomfortably remind me of similar problems I've seen, heard of, and <cough!> participated in. In some instances, the problems seem predictable and the result not terribly surprising. This dimension is likely the natural result of the narrative aspect. I am viewing the events in carefully sequenced hindsight and so can tie cause and effect neatly. And I become impatient for the participants to see what is already clear.

But it's precisely that aspect where the benefit accrues in real life. You learn that this road leads to that unpleasant destination and you know for the future that danger travels down those paths. For readers who might not latch on to those points, the authors have highlighted the warning signs and the lessons to be learned as the stories—all 28 of them—unfold.

For developers involved in testing (which today means most of you, I trust), this book is an excellent compendium of stories that are illustrative and, indeed, thought-provoking. Recommended. — A. Binstock






Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.