Testing Extreme Programming

Testing Extreme Programming

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Testing is a cornerstone within the burgeoning discipline of Extreme Programming. Much has been written about XP, but to date, no book has specifically addressed the key role that the tester plays in this lightweight methodology. This new book defines how an XP tester can optimally contribute to a project, including what testers should do, when they should do it, and how they should do it. Each teaching point is supported by practical examples, helpful suggestions, and proven techniques that will help readers improve the quality of their next project. The material is based on the authors' real-world experience making XP work within development organizations. The book also provides a unique "Road Hazard Survival Kit" with copious resources that help the tester address common pitfalls. Both testers unfamiliar with XP, and XP devotees unfamiliar with testing, will benefit greatly from this book.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 100 x 100 x 100mm | 100g
  • Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 0321113551
  • 9780321113559
  • 2,026,913

Back cover copy

The rapid rise in popularity of Extreme Programming (XP) has put the practice of software testing squarely in the spotlight of application development. At one time, testing was a neglected practice, a highly specialized activity that came as an afterthought as complex, code-intensive projects were rushed to completion. But in today's world of escalating quality expectations, testing is a key component of the development process.

XP accelerates testing by demanding its complete integration with development. This in turn has pushed software professionals to rethink their traditional attitudes toward testing. XP asks the entire development team to embrace testing. In fact, testing is so critical to the XP methodology that programmers are required to write automated tests before they begin coding. Until now, however, there has been a distinct lack of instruction specific to testing and how it relates to XP.

Testing Extreme Programming is a practical tutorial that gives software builders a lucid understanding of this important aspect of development. This book demonstrates how testing is central to the XP project, clearly spelling out what testing should be done and when and how it should be performed. The authors teach by example, and readers will be able to improve their knowledge of the testing process by completing the book's exercises.

In addition, this book:

Provides a general overview of the XP methodology Defines the roles of XP team members Shows how to write effective tests before coding begins Helps you avoid the traps and pitfalls that can derail software projects Sheds light on the important practice of refactoring and how it relates to testing Compares and contrasts manual and automated tests

Many software engineers have dismissed XP as a throw-out-the-rulebook, anything-goes technique. It isn't. As this book shows, XP is a deliberate and disciplined approach to software development. Many software engineers have reaped the benefits of this agile methodology because its emphasis on testing eliminates much of the risk inherent in software projects. XP helps developers produce software on time, under budget, and at a higher quality level. But you can't XP if you don't test. With this book as a guide, you will learn to embrace testing. A sound testing program is the engine that drives an XP project.

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Table of contents


1. An Overview.
Overview of XP.
How XP Solves Testing and Quality Assurance Problems.
System and Acceptance Testing Resources Wasted on Unit- and Integration-Level Bugs.
Missing and Out-of-Date Requirements.
Huge Gaps between the System and User Expectations.
Wolves in Sheep's Clothing.

2. Why XP Teams Need Testers.
Definition of Tester.
The Tester's Contribution, Illustrated.
Shun the Dark Side.

3. How XP Teams Benefit from Having Testers.
Checks and Balances.
Acceptance Tests versus Unit Tests.
Navigating for XP Projects.

4. XP Testing Values.

5. Overview of the XP Tester Role.
XP Tester's Bill of Rights.
XP Tester Activities.

6. Quality and XP.
Defining Quality.
Setting Quality Criteria.
Who Is Responsible for Quality?

7. User Stories and Release Planning.
The Tester's Role in Up-Front Activities.
Goals of Up-Front Tester Activities.
Exercise 1.

8. Identifying Hidden Assumptions.
A Process for Finding Hidden Assumptions.
Example 1.
Exercise 2.
Introducing the XTrack Application.

9. Defining High-Level Acceptance Tests.
Basic Acceptance Test Definitions.
Example 2.
Example 3.
Exercise 3.

10. High-Level Acceptance Test Estimates.
Ways to Estimate Acceptance-Test Effort.
Quick-and-Dirty Approach.
Example 4.
A More Detailed Estimating Method.
Example 5.
Exercise 4.

11. Enabling Accurate Estimates during Release Planning.
Why We Care about Estimates.
How You Can Improve Estimate Accuracy.
Exercise 5.

12. Planning the First Iteration.
Overview of Iteration Planning.
The Tester's Role in Iteration Planning.
Thinking of All the Tasks.
Enhancing Communication.
Exercise 6.

13. Defining and Estimating Testing and Test Infrastructure Tasks.
Identifying and Estimating Test Infrastructure Tasks.
Identifying and Estimating Functional and Acceptance Testing Tasks.
A Note on Separate Test Teams.
Example 6.
Test Infrastructure Tasks.
Acceptance Testing Tasks.
Exercise 7.

14. Acceptance Tests and Quality.
Acceptance Test Details.
Internal and External Quality.
Exercise 8.

15. Nailing Down the Details.
Picking the Customer's Brain (and the Programmers'!).
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Example 7.
Optional Tests.
Getting Creative.
Lights-Out Test Design.
Exercise 9.

16. Writing Acceptance Tests.
Executable Tests.
If You Have Trouble Getting Started.
Exercise 10.

17. Organizing Acceptance Tests.
Version Control of Acceptance Tests.
Executable Test Files.
Organizing Acceptance Tests in Spreadsheets.
Exercise 11.

18. Test Design and Refactoring.
Establishing the Initial System State.
Tests That Leave the System State Unchanged.
Coupling between Tests.
Exercise 12 130

19. Manual Tests.
Exercise 13.

20. What!?!!
Manual Tests Are Unreliable.
Manual Tests Undermine the XP Testing Practice.
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About Lisa Crispin

Lisa Crispin has more than ten years of experience testing Web applications, databases, 4GLs, middleware, and business applications. She first elbowed her way onto an XP team in July 2000. Lisa has published articles based on her XP testing experience in STQE Magazine, Novatica, and other technical journals. She has also presented technical papers and seminars on XP testing in the U.S. and Europe.

Tip House, a chief systems analyst at the OCLC Online Computer Library Center, has twenty-five years of experience in software development, testing, and quality assurance. Tip is a Certified Quality Analyst, Certified Software Quality Engineer, and trained Lead Ticket Auditor. He is the creator of numerous tools for test automation and software configuration, including the WebART tool, and is the author of numerous papers and presentations on software testing, software measurement, electronic document control/collaboration, and XP.

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Rating details

33 ratings
3.64 out of 5 stars
5 21% (7)
4 33% (11)
3 33% (11)
2 12% (4)
1 0% (0)
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