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System Testing
with an Attitude

An Approach That Nurtures
Software Quality

by Nathan Petschenik

ISBN: 978-0-932633-46-0  
©2005   368 pages   softcover  
$39.95 (plus shipping)

Subject(s): Software Testing

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


Improve Your Systems Development Process by Nurturing Front-Loaded Software Quality

About the Book

Quality cannot be tested into software, it must be designed in and built in. Understanding and accepting this simple principle can be the first step to preventing serious system defects from reaching users.

Projects that routinely rely on the system test team to uncover major implementation mistakes are bound to fail. The system test phase occurs too late in the life cycle to make major improvements to the overall quality of the product. Projects striving for high quality and rapid time to market need to adopt an attitude that it is unacceptable for software that does not meet requirements to even reach the system test phase.

Instituting this attitude requires agreement on roles and responsibilities throughout the entire project team. System Testing with an Attitude explains how to cultivate productive relationships between developers and system testers and stresses the importance of identifying and delineating the responsibilities of each group, which can prevent problems in the system before system testing even begins.

However, changing attitudes and allocating responsibilities is only part of the formula for system testing success. The system test team needs a technical and procedural framework to achieve excellence in performing its allocated responsibilities. The book provides system testing solutions that will help you:

  • set the right priorities for system testing (which simultaneously clarifies the role of developer testing)
  • understand the users of your software
  • build well-documented, repeatable, data-dimensional system tests that cover typical business flows
  • reduce test-execution costs through the use of automated test tools
  • manage the end game of the software development process effectively
  • institute a comprehensive measurement program that keeps progress visible and accountability clear

Testers, managers, and developers who are ready to improve their software development process should read this book.


". . . this book contains all the right stuff, and it is well written. There aren't exactly standards for writing a book on system testing, but if there were, this book would meet them.

". . . this is by far the best game in town on the subject of system testing."

—R.L. Glass
ACM Reviews.com

"Projects striving for high quality and rapid time to market must adopt an attitude that makes it unacceptable for software that does not meet requirements to even reach the system test phase. . . .

"Testers, managers, and developers who are ready to improve their software development process should read this book."

Michael J. Lutz
IEEE Computer

"An exceptionally well-written book that explores concepts of system testing and goes on to present a philosophy that can be readily applied on any software project. . . .

"What sets this book apart is the author's free use of examples, tables and diagrams that eases the understanding of the material. A handy reference for experts and a classic for the rest."

—R. Betala
posted on Amazon.com

". . . this has got to be one of the best books on System Testing that's available for those of us in the game of Formal System Testing. . . .

"I urge you to buy this book, read it, and use the information contained within. You'll do a better job of System Testing if you do that."

—Rodger Drabick
author of Best Practices for the Formal
Software Testing Process

"Part I covers system-testing issues, and Petschenik actually begins his book with a test on system testing. (I like the strategy of starting a test book with a test.) This self-assessment grounds the audience and gives us a good window into the book. . . .

"What is refreshing is the acknowledgement that proper and successful system testing requires everyone to understand the various roles throughout the entire development
process. . . .

"Petschenik demonstrates quality, not quantity, with good structure and balance . . .

"I recommend this book to my project teams and will encourage them to conduct the sort of role-awareness seminar Petschenik describes."

—Laura Rose
The Rational Edge

"As a former test manager, I would have found this book very useful in helping me to understand both my role within the organization, and the issues inherent in that role. I would also recommend it for development managers and project managers; the basic premise (clearly defined roles, agreed to by all parties) makes too much sense to be ignored."

—Joe Saur
ACM Engineering Notes

". . . an informed and informative understanding of the problems and issues often confronted in computer oriented careers. Providing its readers with an invaluable approach to the proper application of system testing and developer-led testing, understanding the software's user, reduction of system-test costs, and increase of productivity by methodical technique and tool utilization, management of the "end game" of software developmental effectiveness, and institution of comprehensive measurement programming, System Testing With An Attitude is a superbly presented, "user-friendly" collection of accessibly helpful, usefully practical, readily applicable information. System Testing With An Attitude is very highly recommended . . ."

—Midwest Book Review


"System Testing With an Attitude deals specifically with system testing and is a change from other software testing books, which try to squeeze all levels of test into one book.

". . . PetschenikÕs writing style is down-to-earth and quite refreshing. There are no ten-dollar words, and he speaks from practical experience. He uses a lot of personal examples and even gives the reader an opportunity to walk through a few exercises to grasp the concepts discussed.

"Now that I have read System Testing With an Attitude, I have the ammunition I need to fight back. I now have the ability to present the argument, with teeth I was lacking before. . . . I now have the ability to make it a win-win situation for all concerned. I recommend that this book be on your shelf."

—Terry Stewart


Table of Contents

Dorset House Catalog
This Book's Flyer

Also Recommended

Best Practices for the Formal Software Testing Process by Rodger D. Drabick

Software State-of-the-Art: Selected Papers, by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
Surviving the Top Ten Challenges of Software Testing, by William E. Perry and Randall Rice

How to Order

To order this book by credit card directly from Dorset House in New York, please call (800) 342-6657 or (212) 620-4053, weekdays, 9am to 6pm. Alternatively, print out our Faxable Order Form and fax to (212) 727-1044.

To purchase at a bookstore, contact our Recommended Booksellers to verify availability. Any store can order from Dorset House using the book's title and ISBN number. Also, bookstores can order our books through Baker & Taylor.

We'd like to make it easy for you to order, so please contact us at any time for help!

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