REVIEW: "Advanced Software Testing, Volume 1", Rex Black
- BKASTVL1.RVW 20081127
"Advanced Software Testing, Volume 1", Rex Black, 2009,
%A Rex Black rex_black@... www.rbcs-us.com
%C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
%G 978-1-933952-19-2 1-933952-19-9
%I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc./Rocky Nook Inc.
%O U$49.95/C$49.95 800-998-9938 805-687-8727 joan@...
%O Audience a- Tech 2 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 468 p.
%T "Advanced Software Testing, Volume 1"
The introduction states that this work covers what the career testing
practitioner should know about test analysis, design, execution, and
results evaluation, for the International Software Testing
Qualifications Board (ISTQB) Advanced Test Analyst exam, or for work.
Chapter one is on testing basics. However, it is rather confusing,
particularly since acronyms are used freely, and it is frequently
difficult to find a prior definition. (There is no glossary in the
book, and most acronyms are not referenced in the index. The author
assures me that all acronyms are, indeed, defined prior to use, but,
in reading the text, I stumbled on this quite often.) There is also
an emphasis on very large systems. Testing processes, in chapter two,
gives us yet another project process, with six fairly idiosyncratic
stages. A lot of jargon is created, but the overall idea seems a bit
fuzzy. (In this model, planning is stage one, but two stages later,
in implementation, there is a lot more planning to be done.) Chapter
three, on test management, mostly stresses the idea that management is
irrelevant to this particular examination or certification. The
material does, though, go into great detail on risk, noting both risk
in product quality, and risk in testing. Test techniques, in chapter
four, are specific, covering structure- and defect-based testing,
along with static and dynamic analysis. There are valuable concepts
here, but some are too detailed, while others don't have sufficient
content. The text is also disorganized and quite redundant in places.
Chapter five, dealing with tests of software characteristics, appears
intended to address overall quality. Security issues are presented
badly in the material, and usability, portability, and maintainability
are problematic. Different types of reviews are purportedly noted in
chapter six, but the details are strictly limited to code analysis.
Chapter seven, on incident management, is mostly just about
Chapter eight is about standards and test process improvement. Again,
this content is for management, and neither the material nor the
objectives are intended for analysts, the audience for this book.
(There is a repeated instruction to read the ISTQB Foundation Syllabus
and Advanced Syllabus, but no instructions as to where to obtain these
items.) Some test tools are listed in chapter nine. Chapter ten
gives us six pages on people skills and team composition. The book
closes off with general exam preparation advice in chapter eleven.
The book is not terribly well written or organized. The content is
uneven in both level and tone. For those going after this exam,
you'll probably have to rely on the syllabus, and hope that it is
better prepared than this document. As "advanced" implies, this work
covers an exam that is subsequent to prior material, and those who
have written the first level will have a better understanding of the
structure of the exams and their requirements. As a book by itself,
this text is not particularly helpful.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2009 BKASTVL1.RVW 20081127
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