Who likes testing? Pretty much no-one does - testing usually is boring, repetitive, more a burden than the opportunity to get everlasting glory. It gets more and more painful when you proceed to maintenance releases and there’s a need to perform full regression testing of everything that was deployed so far. But on the other hand, tests are crucial to keep the assumed quality level and verify the compliance with functional requirements (as those 2 are tightly coupled).
What’s more to be said about testing? Famous v-model and automated unit tests (the ones everyone speaks about but no-one actually makes) - don’t these cover the topic fully? Nope, not at all. But don’t worry, there’s a book that can help you to learn far more - "How Google Tests Sofware" by James Whittaker, Jason Arbon and Jeff Carollo.
Why is it so interesting? And why do we want to know how Google performs testing?
- Google is known to hire the best of the best engineers and technical influencers worldwide - if someone can propose an innovative approach to automated testing - it’s them.
- Google releases software that is used by millions of users. Today. Everyday.
- Google software processes incredible magnitudes of data (search engine) and their software is running on the content that is very hardly predictable (Chrome browser).
- Google software has to be very responsive and ergonomic (Gmail, Google+).
- Google software is usually web based and fully exposed to hacker attacks.
- Google delivers software as complicated as operating systems (Android, Chrome OS) that is running custom programs written by third parties.
It’s more than obvious, that preparing few hundreds test cases in Excel is definitely not enough ;P
This book may not share your ground, but it will surely implant some interesting ideas, because it doesn’t avoid some challenging topics - crowdsourcing, manual vs automated approach, testing the untestable, “sizing” the tests, ideas to promote testing in organization and many many more. Book contains plenty of interviews with Googlers who bring many warstories about actual cases that happened in the past. I highly recommend reading this book to everyone who’s interested in software quality and agile approach to software creation.
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