I’m Writing a Software Testing Book!

That’s right! You read the title. I’m writing a book about software testing!

One of the most common questions people ask me is, “What books can you recommend on software testing and automation?” Unfortunately, I don’t have many that I can recommend. There are plenty of great books, but most of them focus on a particular tool, framework, or process. I haven’t found a modern book that covers software testing as a whole. Trust me, I looked – when I taught my college course on software testing at Wake Tech, the textbook’s copyright date was 2002. Its content felt just as antiquated.

I want to write a book worthy of answering that question. I want to write a treatise on software testing for our current generation of software professionals. My goal is ambitious, but I think I can do it. It will probably take a year to write. I hope to find deep joy in this endeavor.

Manning Publications will be the publisher. They accepted my proposal, and we signed a contract. The working title of the book is The Way to Test Software. The title pays homage to Julia Child’s classic, The Way to Cook. Like Julia Child, I want to teach “master recipes” that can be applied to any testing situations.

I don’t want to share too many details this early in the process, but the tentative table of contents has the following parts:

  1. Orientation
  2. Testing Code
  3. Testing Features
  4. Testing Performance
  5. Running Tests
  6. Development Practices

Python will be the language of demonstration. This should be no surprise to anyone. I chose Python because I love the language. I also think it’s a great language for test automation. Python will be easy for both beginners and experts to learn. Besides, the book is about testing, not programming – Python will be just the linguistic tool for automation.

If you’re as excited about this book as I am, please let me know! I need all the encouragement I can get. This book probably won’t enter print until 2022, given the breadth of its scope. I’ll work to get it done as soon as I can.

18 comments

  1. I’m a lurker. Looking forward to reading it. It’s a woefully undocumented area. I’ve written a few technical books myself, and it was very difficult. I found putting on the right tunes makes all the difference. Good luck to you, and thank you.

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  2. This is awesome!!!! Really looking forward to your book Andy. Thank you in advance

    Bryce Paquette
    Software Support Engineer
    Canary Systems, Inc.
    ___________________
    5 Gould Road
    PO Box 2155
    New London, NH 03257 USA
    1-603-526-9800
    http://www.canarysystems.com
    [cid:image001.png@01D6D7A4.2ED1FB50]

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  3. I greatly enjoyed your course on testautomationu. Note that test automation is not testing. I hope your book doesn’t jump on the bandwagon of automation, agile, DevOps. There are two fantastic books on testing: 1. Lessons Learned 2. Testing computer software (both by Kaner). Weinberg also has some great books. Bolton’s blog can’t be matched.

    On automation Richard and Mark had some good ideas related to Automation in Test. Those are ideas worth pursuing.

    Your teaching on TAU was so good. I am scared that you might pursue the wrong path with the book.

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  4. Congratulations on signing a contract for your new book! I am looking forward to reading it and love the fact that you are using Python. It is my favorite, too!

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  5. Good luck on your book, it is great news to here of a modern testing book in the works! Please consider devoting some time to the basics of how to make a testing system easy to triage, and possibly suggest a few patterns for new testers to start with. I frequently see peers creating large difficult to debug tests, with way too many assertions, thus making it difficult to triage failures, and failure reporting is almost meaningless. Some basic patterns and best practices could provide a common language to have conversations about these issues.

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  6. Hi, sounds like a good venture. I am working to improve my programming skills and trying to meet fellow developers here at WordPress, I’ve just started by blogging a couple of my projects and adding code on Github.

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