Perfect software, reread

While nursing my sick housemate, I took the time to read Jerry Weinberg’s Perfect Software and other illusions of software testing. It was a quick and easy read with the book being only under 200 pages, and with the content hardly wound up on technical jargon. I think the author had intended the material to be suitable for reading even for those who aren’t in the IT field altogether.

The book discusses and dispels some myths on software testing. These myths and not really knowing what testing can or cannot do probably contributes to the headaches that software testers often encounter. Headaches being stuff like irrational (if not impossible) expectations – test everything exhaustively and do it fast, prove the program works, do it faster, capture all the bugs, do it faster still – among many other things. Each chapter of the book has stories to tell and a common mistakes section. For those who’ve been testing or working on software development projects for a long time, a lot of those stuff could be all too familiar. While the book doesn’t directly address how to go about with these problems when you’re already knee-deep in them, it does give a fair explanation of why things tend to go that way (for some) and a list of common mistakes to be wary of.

Overall, the book is a pretty good read. I reckon a newbie tester might not appreciate it as much as another tester who’s already had a couple or so projects under his belt. Still, it helps to have things explained.

[Dec 2010]

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