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Janet Gregory: Agile Consultant, Trainer, Advisor, Writer, Speaker

Book Review – Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve Your Tests

Book Review – Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve Your Tests, By Gojko Adzic, David Evans and Tom Roden

The first thing I noticed when I opened the book to the Table of Contents is the great organization starting with generating testing ideas, which is different than the second section on designing good checks. Because these are separate sections, it delineates the difference between the two ideas. Generating testing ideas is about exploring what you need or want to get a shared understanding by the whole team. I particularly like the Emotional Heuristics – I find that business people can relate to these ideas very well. Another idea that appealed to me was Documenting Trust Boundaries for dependencies. So many ideas I have used in the past have been given a name which will help me to describe to others – for example: Don’t let the pen be the bottleneck during a collaborative workshop.

The designing good checks section is really about extracting great examples from the business users, and there are many useful tips to help. A couple of my favourites are using the Given, When, Then format correctly and Don’t Automate Manual Tests.

The third section – Improving Testability – is where you really want to get your programmers reading. There are some basic things that can help get your application testable – not only for automation, but also for exploratory testing.

The last section is on Managing Large Test Suites, and this section might be the most important of all for me. I get asked on a regular basis about this subject, so now I have some great ideas to share and a place to refer teams to for more thoughts. There are too many good concepts for me to call out one or two.

Almost every time I turn a page, I get another idea – the authors have captured simplicity at its best. They explain the idea, the benefits and how to make it work with in the 2 page spread. For books like this, I like the hard copy because I can see it all at once. This is a book I will refer to often and definitely will recommend it my clients.


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