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More Agile Testing: Book Review

We were lucky enough to receive a pre-release copy of Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin’s new book: More Agile Testing. The book is available for pre-order and the published version is coming soon. I highly recommend the book, even if you haven’t read the previous one. Here’s my review.

MoreAgileTestingMore Agile Testing is a great collection of stories and ideas that can help you improve, not just how you test, but the products you build and the way you work. What I love most about the book is how easy many of the ideas are to try. If one message is clear, it is that regardless of your context and challenges there are things you can try to improve. Get started today with something small, and nothing will be impossible.

I wanted to pick three things that I found most useful to share with potential readers to help you get a flavour for the book. Trust me it was hard to pick just three, but here they are.

The chapter on Technical Awareness is excellent. For a long time I have heard people debate whether testers need to be able to code. In this chapterJanet and Lisa answer this eloquently and confirm my personal views that even if you don’t write code, testing requires specific and deep technical skills.

Secondly I love the approach to both Session Based and Thread Based Exploratory Testing with test charters. In particular the idea of using this with the whole team for pre-release manual regression. I have been struggling to find a good approach for teams not ready or able to give up manual regression and I think this approach is exactly what I have been searching for.

The third (and hardest to pick because the more I read, the more good ideas there were) is the approach of using page objects to simply automated UI testing. I often encounter teams stalled in the maintenance nightmare of GUI automation and I have not had practical advice except move the tests down the pyramid. This books offers some great ideas to help refactor and structure UI tests.

Lisa and Janet mention this book starts where the last one left off, but in someways I think it’s a great prequel. If you read agile testing and haven’t managed to adopt the ideas in it, then I think this book will help you get started. The stories in the book will help you see that even seemingly impossible obstacles can be overcome. Probably the greatest praise I can give this book is to say that it made me want to become a tester again. It is an exciting time with fantastic tools and approaches available and this book will help you uncover them.