Sunday, 24 May 2009

Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams

by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory (978-0-321-53446-0)

This book is pretty much what it says on the tin and that's a good thing. Behind all the usual Shiny Happy People Having Fun stuff you usually get in books from the Agile community is some sound, well expressed advice. This isn't just a book for Agile testers. There's a lot of good practical information that all testers should learn. It's a difficult balance to achieve, but I think the use of the word Agile may put of a lot of people who should really be reading this book.

As well as the general practical testing advice the book also covers a lot of fundamental Agile stuff. It sets out some Agile testing principals and discusses the problems a lot of teams have when transitioning to Agile. It's all been written before, but never from a testers perspective, but to be honest it's not that different from the developer perspective.

The book is very hung up on the idea that developers in Agile teams, and indeed testers in or joining Agile teams have difficulty seeing how testers fit in as developers are doing unit testing and therefore the code is supposedly already tested. Personally I feel that anyone who doesn't understand that not everything can be unit tested and see that “independent” testers are vital is probably in the wrong job. The book made me view our owner tester, who does not come from a programming background, in a totally different way. Instead of seeing him as someone who just carries out the manual user interface tests, I now see him as an integrated member of the team who needs to take part when requirements are gathered and should also be writing integration and end-to-end tests as well as maintaining continuous integration. The necessary training has now commenced.

Most of the Agile discussion is at the beginning of the book. The practical stuff comes later and is quite detailed, including most of the sorts of testing, including automated GUI testing, that should be carried out.

I think this book will make most people think differently about testing in a good way.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this review. The affirmation that Janet and I were able to clearly convey our message and share our experience (along with that of lots of other teams) makes all the work to write the book worthwhile! I'm especially happy to hear how your perception of the tester on your own team changed. Very cool!