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Perfect Software by Jerry Weinberg

Perfect Software
And Other Illusions About Testing

by Gerald M. Weinberg

ISBN: 978-0-932633-69-9  
©2008  200 pages   softcover  
$23.95 (plus shipping)

Subject(s): Software Engineering, Software Testing, Technical Leadership

*For UPS Ground within U.S. only.
For more info., or for Int.'l or rush orders, click here.

Find Jerry's eBook nonfiction and novels listed at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords stores, and at www.geraldmweinberg.com.

Debunk the Myths of
Software Testing

About the Book

Everyone has a role to play in software testing -- even people outside a project team. Testers, developers, managers, customers, and users shape the process and results of testing, often unwittingly. Rather than continue to generate stacks of documents and fuel animosity, testers can cultivate rich opportunities and relationships by integrating an effective testing mentality into any process.

Jerry Weinberg, author of The Psychology of Computer Programming and more than forty nonfiction books, sets out to disprove destructive notions about testing and testers in Perfect Software: And Other Illusions About Testing. With a blend of wit, storytelling, and jaw-dropping insight that has won him fans around the world, Weinberg deftly separates what is expected, significant, and possible in software testing. He destroys fallacies and steers readers clear of common mistakes.

We test because people are not perfect, and simply testing "more" does not guarantee better quality. This book guides test strategy development that's scalable for any project.

Topics include:

  • Why Not Just Test Everything?
  • Information Immunity
  • What Makes a Test "Good"?
  • Major Fallacies About Testing
  • Determining Significance
  • Testing Without Machinery
  • and much more


"Finally! A book about software testing written by someone who actually understands software testing. I consider Jerry to be the greatest living tester. Jerry tests everything. Jerry tests me. . . . It's been forty-seven years since Weinberg first wrote on software testing, and his ideas today are still ahead of their time. Read this and get your head straight about testing."

-- James Bach, consulting software tester,
author of Lessons Learned in Software Testing

"This concise and cogent book -- a gift to testers -- explodes myths about what testing can and can't do.  We'll each want at least two copies -- one for our own bookshelves, and another to hand to our clients so that they can better understand precisely how we can help them."

-- Michael Bolton, tester, trainer, and consultant,

"If the wiring in your brain needs a better programming and testing, read this."

-- Pradeep Soundararajan, consulting tester,
author of Tester Tested! blog  

"Perfect Software will be a tremendous asset to anyone who tests software and keeps having to explain what testing can and cannot do. Engagingly as always, Jerry Weinberg explains the essence of testing for anyone to understand. He makes a compelling case for doing enough testing—but not too much. I can't wait to give Perfect Software to all my clients!

-- Fiona Charles, test consultant and columnist

". . . what about the title, 'Perfect Software'? Weinberg leaves no doubt, from the outset, that that's a false goal. . . . if you can figure out a way to do it graciously, I strongly recommend buying a copy for one or more of the 'suits' in your organizational ladder."

-- Robert L. Glass, The Software Practitioner

"One of the pioneers in many areas of software development has written another masterpiece that should be required reading of everyone working in software development. The book. . . pulls some of the nastier realities about software testing out into the critical glare of scrutiny. In many ways, software testing reminds me of the laws of thermodynamics, where no matter how efficient you are, complete efficiency is impossible. Modern software is so complex that nothing even close to exhaustive testing is possible. The only hope that anyone has to do an effective job in testing is to first recognize the limits and then to adopt a testing plan that does the best that can be done. There is no one better at describing this process than Weinberg."

-- Charles Ashbacher, The Journal of Object Technology

"The chapter on Meta-Testing is excellent and relates 14 case stories where the client was unable to see the forest for the trees. For example the test manager complaining about the performance of the bug database when more than 14,000 bugs had been logged -- working out why there were so many defects might perhaps be more important than worrying about the performance. . .

"Jerry has had a long career in the industry and worked in everything from embedded systems, slot machines, spaceship control, dating services and has found one thing in common with them all -- the quality of management seems to be the distinguishing factor between success and failure."

-- Phil Kirkham, Software Testing Club

"I recommend this book. I can give it to a manager at any level and trust that if they read it, they have the potential to be a much better manager. I can give the book to just about anyone -- especially people who have nothing to do with software or testing software. It contains much about how people gather, communicate, consider, and use information."

-- Dwayne Phillips, DwaynePhillips.net

"It's about people: people who develop things that need to be tested, people who perform tests, people fix the problems found by testing, and people who manage projects that involve testing. . . . It's important to note that Perfect Software is not a how-to guide; it gives no simple ten-step process that guarantees successful testing. Rather, the book reminds us that testing is a human activity, and offers useful tools (like the Interaction Model, and the discussions of common mistakes that ends each chapter) for working with testers who happen to be human. Ę Like most of Weinberg's books, Perfect Software is written in an easy-to-read, conversational style. He is an excellent storyteller, and the many 'war stories' that illustrate his points have the ring of truth."

-- Dan Starr, Projects@Work

"Software testers and quality assurance managers know that perfect software doesnŐt exist. Unfortunately their project managers, company executives and legal teams often donŐt . . . this book will help managers get 'tuned into reality' about software testing. The key is getting it into the right peopleŐs hands . . . testers and QA pros may want to keep it handy to do just that."

-- Jan Stafford, IT Knowledge Exchange

". . . This is a book for the people who are asking you the impossible questions. . . . and will provide an executive, manger, or developer with enough information about testing to (A) understand some of the challenges of the role, (B) set appropriate expectations, and (C) communicate those expectations clearly. In other words, it can be the difference between a sane life and an insane one -- if only you can get the right people to read it. Now, the style of the book is plain prose and folsky story . . . if you are a seasoned tester, this book might not be for you -- it's for your boss, your bosses boss, the customer, the CEO, and The New Guy. . . . Buy two copies to give away today!"

-- Matt Heusser, posted on Amazon.com

"Weinberg has seen the insides of far more projects than most of us have and has worked with some relatively dysfunctional organizations. His stories of scapegoating, intimidation, and other misuse of testers are hair raising. If you work under such conditions, you need to read this book right away. . . .

"Weinberg is firm in his belief that machines will never replace brains when it comes to software testing. Testing is an interactive process of investigation in which each finding leads to new questions.

"Like all of Weinberg's books, every page of this one has wonderful insights and advice. If you have anything to do with software development, you should get a copy and read it at least twice."

-- Richard Mateosian, IEEE Micro


Dorset House Catalog
This Book's Flyer

By this Author
The Psychology of Computer Programming
The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully
Weinberg on Writing


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