Friday, May 22, 2009

Review – How we software test at Microsoft

How we test software at Microsoft Alan Page, Ken Johnston, BJ Rollison

How we test software at Microsoft is one of the more interesting computer books that I have read. I have learnt a considerable amount through reading the advice and anecdotes that are spread throughout the book written by the authors and other experienced testers at Microsoft.

The book begins it’s story from the basics of testing, the engineering cycle and where testing fits in at Microsoft. The story then continues to how Microsoft tests software including techniques that are used by the company. The way that How we test software at Microsoft differs from the array of other testing books out there that explain how testing can be conducted is all testing methodologies are linked back to arguments of why Microsoft does this. Additionally the book is filled with anecdotes and other stories by testers at Microsoft on what they did or experience in their roles.

The story then continues into what I believe is the unique section of the book, and this is the tools that Microsoft uses and has built themselves. The experience and insight of the authors is shown in this section as they discuss what they, fellow test leads and test architects have managed to achieve in create unique and specialised software to achieve to the colossal task of testing software such as windows and office.

The authors all of whom are part of the engineering excellence team, which is responsible for directing the overall engineering process in the company, describe their visions for testing at Microsoft. Their insight into the future of testing especially when the world transitions from web 2.0 to web 3.0 explores how Microsoft is evolving to test software faster with an emphasis on virtualisation and automation in all aspects of the testing process.

The book is enjoyable to read with humorous sidenotes in regards to testing at Microsoft inserted through out. The add-ins provide a respite from the explanations of testing techniques that are used in the company. The authors put in considerable efforts to not delve into what can be the dry topic of explaining countless testing techniques that exist.

How we test software at Microsoft is published by MSPress and written by Alan Page, Ken Johnston and Bj Rollison.


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