The Tester's Library
The Tester's Library
$83.92
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$49.99
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The Tester's Library

Perfect Software
Are Your Lights On?
Handbook of Technical Reviews, Fourth Edition
General Systems Thinking
What Did You Say?  The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback
More Secrets of Consulting
Becoming a Technical Leader
The Aremac Project

About the Bundle

The Tester's Library consists of eight five-star books that every software tester should read and re-read. As bound books, this collection would cost over $200. Even as e-books, their price would exceed $80, but in this bundle, their cost is only $49.99. Here are the books, and why they should be in your library:

  • Perfect Software and Other Illusions About Testing

James Bach says, "Read this book and get your head straight about testing. I consider Jerry (Weinberg) to be the greatest living tester."

Perfect Software sets the stage for the bundle by answering the questions that puzzle the most people, but whose answers must be on the lips of every professional software tester:

• Why do we have to bother testing?

• Why not just test everything?

• What is it that makes testing so hard?

• Why does testing take so long?

• Is perfect software even possible?

• Why can't we just accept a few bugs?

  • Are Your Lights On: How to Know What the Problem Really Is

The tester's fundamental job is to identify problems in systems. Whether you are a novice or a veteran, this powerful little book will make you more effective at precisely identifying and describing problems. Any tester involved in product and systems development will appreciate this practical illustrated guide, which was first published in 1982 and has since become a cult classic. Are Your Lights On provides an entertaining look at ways to improve one's thinking power and the power to communicate effectively about problems discovered in testing:

  • First how to identify the problem.
  • Second how to determine the problem's owner.
  • Third who to discover where the problem came from.
  • Fourth how to decide whether or not to solve it.

Delightfully illustrated with 55 line drawings by artist Sally Cox, the book has changed the way thousands of testers think about the job of producing quality software.

  • Handbook of Technical Reviews (4th edition)

Experienced testers know that technical reviews are probably the most powerful testing tool. Every tester should participate in reviews, and this book explains how to do it.

One reviewer said, "For me there are many, many valuable lessons in this book. Not only does it provide a step-by-step explanation of how to run software reviews and how to get them accepted in the organization, what is even more important is that everywhere the "why" behind choices is explained. That allows me to transfer sound principles to a wide variety of settings. In every company reviews "work" slightly differently, and this book has helped me figure out how to match the implementation to the specific setting."

"Quite apart from the great content, I found the writing style a delight: witty, chock full of wisdom, and a breeze to get through. At over 400 pages it "looks" like a tome, but I went through it like a breeze. And I keep returning to it, which says a lot about the depth of coverage."

  • General Systems Thinking: An Introduction

For many years, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking has been hailed as an innovative introduction to systems theory, with applications in software development and testing, medicine, engineering, social sciences, architecture, and beyond. Used in university courses and professional seminars all over the world, the text has proven its ability to open minds and sharpen thinking.

A reviewer wrote: "In computing, a timeless classic is anything that is worth reading for any reason other than to obtain a historical context after five years. If that still holds true after twenty five years, then it is truly an extraordinary piece of work. That label applies to this book. It is not about computing per se, but about how humans think about things and how 'facts' are relative to time, our personal experience and environmental context."

"This is a book that is a true classic, not only in computing but in the broad area of scholarship. It is partly about the philosophy and mechanisms of science; partly about designing things so they work but mostly it is about how humans view the world and create things that match that view. This book will still be worth reading for a long time to come and it is on my list of top ten computing books.

  • What Did You Say?: The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback

Perhaps the most important—and most difficult—of the tester's jobs is giving information to developers about problems in the software they produced. This brief and engaging book can be of use to anyone who has to interact with other people. You'll enjoy the "read" so much that you may not realize how much you have gained - all in words of one syllable! 

• How to offer feedback when asked (or hired) to do so.

  • Why feedback tells more about the giver than the receiver.
  • How feedback is distorted or resisted by the receiver's point of view and defense mechanisms. 
  • How humans have struggled to understand each others' responses.

One reviewer wrote: "If I had the power to transport one book back in time and send it to myself, this would be the one. This is the book I needed when I became a people manager. It's also the book I needed when I began to raise my kids. In fact, I can't think of a time in my life when I did not wish I had more of the skills this book teaches. A simple but very deep book that causes a new level of understanding about how to talk to people with each reading."

  • More Secrets of Consulting: The Consultant's Tool Kit

Ultimately, a tester's job is like a consultant to developers, advising them on how to improve their products. Like all consultants, testers need tools to help them have their advice used productively.

Here's how a reviewer described the book: The "Consultant's Tool Kit" of the subtitle is actually a complex metaphor. Each component of the toolkit is a metaphor for a certain aspect of your personality and personal capabilities. For example, the wishing wand is a metaphor for understanding, and being able to ask for, what you want from a professional relationship. The chapter around this metaphor first explores why most people either don't know what they want or are unable to express it, and suggests ways to make your wishes clearer. It places this in a professional context, contract negotiation, and emphasizes how the personal ability to express and value your wishes will help you negotiate more successfully. 

In a similar way other chapters focus on developing wisdom and new knowledge, managing time and information, being courageous with your decisions, learning how to say yes and no, understanding why you and others are in the current situation, and keeping yourself in balance, avoiding burnout and other self-destructive conditions. 

These are all important not only to consultants, but to anyone trying to establish a more satisfying professional or personal life by managing problems, by self-improvement and by better handling their relationships to other people.

  • Becoming a Technical Leader

Ultimately, the best testers are leaders, guiding their organizations to better quality software products. Becoming a Technical Leader is a personalized guide to developing the qualities that make a successful technical leader. We all possess the ingredients for leadership, some better developed than others.

The book focuses on the problem-solving style–a unique blend of skills in 3 main areas: innovation, motivation, and organization. Ways to analyze your own leadership skills, with practical steps for developing those skills.

From one tester's review: "It is most difficult for a technical expert to transition from a individual contributor to a leader. This book tells you exactly how to do that !!! Brilliant, witty and extremely enjoyable. One of raw all-time classica on leadership. If you have only one book to read on leadership then this is it. "

  • The Aremac Project

This is an intriguing fictional story, based on true events, showing how software testing, done well or done poorly, makes all the difference in the outcomes.

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About the Books

Perfect Software

Perfect Software

and other illusions about testing
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A sampling of some of the five-star reviews of Perfect Software:

I loved this book. It is a must read for anyone who is managing or working in software testing.It explains the true issues with software testers, developers and managers, all who have their own perspective on software and deadlines. It also helps accentuate the need for intelligent testing and human decision making.I will recommend it to my fellow testers!! - Dawn Wielgus

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When I read this book, I had more than 10 years of experience in software development and testing, and I immensely benefited from studying this book. I highly recommend it to anyone, who is testing, or programming, or simply deals with software products (who doesn’t these days?) - and regardless from how long you’ve been in the industry. Among many insights, Gerald Weinberg very intelligibly exposes thinking and responsibilities of people in different positions - programmer, tester, test manager, product owner, business manager. That gives a unique perspective outside of one’s own job experiences.Yes, this awesome book is not quite about testing techniques and methodologies. And yet, if I had to recommend only one book for reading on software testing, I’d suggest this one: because it makes you understand the purposes, the roles, and the context. Many seasoned QA folks claim that they knew all of this already - and I'd reply: yes, intuitively. The book helps to get conscious about your knowledge.

For each aspect in testing, the author describes a lot of patterns how it might go wrong. As in the proverb: a smart person learns from their mistakes; a wise person learns from smart one's mistakes. The book grants this wisdom. - Albert Gareev

---

This is a great book in many aspects. It allows to tie together many different aspects of testing. Reading the book gives an integrated picture of testing from many different viewpoints.The core take-aways for me were:- testing is first of all using a brain- testing is needed because people are human- testing is process of digging for information while having a limited time- quite a large amount of information about a product and development process could be gathered really quickly- process of testing is best driven by information obtained in the process of testing- significance of bugs is context dependentand many, many othersThe real gems for me were chapters 15 and 16: “Preventing testing from growing more difficult”, and “Testing without machinery”. Just these two chapters are well worth the book.So, I highly recommend the book. This is one of the best books of Jerry Weinberg - Serhiy Yevtushenko

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Really interesting read and I loved every minute of reading it. Not the typical testing book but something every tester should have read. It might jig you back to the fact why we're testing and that we're not just going through the motions. - Oliver Erlewein

Are Your Lights On?

Are Your Lights On?

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The fledgling problem solver invariably rushes in with solutions before taking time to define the problem being solved. Even experienced solvers, when subjected to social pressure, yield to this demand for haste. When they do, many solutions are found, but not necessarily to the problem at hand.

Whether you are a novice or a veteran, this powerful little book will make you a more effective problem solver. Anyone involved in product and systems development will appreciate this practical illustrated guide, which was first published in 1982 and has since become a cult classic.

Offering such insights as "A problem is a difference between things as desired and things as perceived," and "In spite of appearances, people seldom know what they want until you give them what they ask for," authors Don Gause and Jerry Weinberg provide an entertaining look at ways to improve one's thinking power. The book playfully instructs the reader first to identify the problem, second to determine the problem's owner, third to identify where the problem came from, and fourth to determine whether or not to solve it.

Delightfully illustrated with 55 line drawings by Sally Cox, the book conveys a message that will change the way you think about projects and problems.

Handbook of Technical Reviews, Fourth Edition

Handbook of Technical Reviews, Fourth Edition

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General Systems Thinking

General Systems Thinking

An Introduction
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For forty years, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking has been hailed as an innovative introduction to systems theory, with applications in software development and testing, medicine, engineering, social sciences, architecture, and beyond. Used in university courses and professional seminars all over the world, the text has proved its ability to open minds and sharpen thinking. Originally published in 1975 and reprinted dozens of times, the book uses clear writing to explore new approaches to projects, products, organizations, and virtually any kind of system.

Scientists, engineers, organization leaders, managers, doctors, students, and thinkers of all disciplines can use this book to dispel the mental fog that clouds problem-solving. As author Gerald M. Weinberg writes, "I haven't changed my conviction that most people don't think nearly as well as they could had they been taught some principles of thinking."

With more than 50 helpful illustrations and 80 examples from two dozen fields, and an appendix on a mathematical notation used in problem-solving, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking may be your most powerful tool in working with problems, systems, and solutions."

John D. Richards wrote, ". . . one of the classics of systems or science of computing. I recommend it to all; it will cause both scientists and non-scientists to examine their world and their thinking. This book will appear on my reading table at regular intervals, and one day I hope to update to the golden anniversary edition." He continues, "I've found myself returning to An Introduction to General Systems Thinking again and again in the twenty-plus years since I first stumbled across it. I know no better spark to revive a mind that's stuck in dead-end thinking than to open this book, dive into one of Gerald Weinberg's wonderful open-ended questions, and rediscover how one looks at the world."

In sum, another reviewer called this book, "a quiet little masterpiece showing all of us how we can deal with the big, bad world in a friendly, humourous, courageous, and empowered way."

What Did You Say?  The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback

What Did You Say? The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback

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What Did You Say? is the second revised edition of a classic book on human behavior, written by three of the most famous organizational consultants: Charlie Seashore, Edie Seashore, and Jerry Weinberg.

Offering opinions is the second most necessary ingredient for human life. Studies show that we can go only three minutes without air, perhaps three days without water, maybe three weeks without food. . . and but three hours without offering somebody our suggestions, responses, or critiques. A perennial "hot" topic in management circles is the process of giving, getting and analyzing advice. 

This brief and engaging book can be of use to anyone who has to interact with other people. You'll enjoy the "read" so much that you may not realize how much you have gained - all in words of one syllable!

How to offer feedback when asked (or hired) to do so. Why feedback tells more about the giver than the receiver. How feedback is distorted or resisted by the receiver's point of view and defense mechanisms. And in dozens of enjoyable vignettes, how humans have struggled to understand each others' responses.

Some Reviews

If I had the power to transport one book back in time and send it to myself, this would be the one. This is the book I needed when I became a people manager. It's also the book I needed when I began to raise my kids. In fact, I can't think of a time in my life when I did not wish I had more of the skills this book teaches. A simple but very deep book that causes a new level of understanding about how to talk to people with each reading. The authors draw on the best ideas from the great psychologists and show how to use them practically in everyday interactions. The short volume is easy to read and full of examples that can be immediately applied. In my humble opinion, this book is indespensible when managing people at work and managing close relationships at home. The conversational and entertaining style is a plus.—R. Fink

Here is my bias - this is a must have book for anyone in the coaching, management consulting, facilitation or training business. In fact it is a must read for everyone. The authors follow a sensible and clear route that would be a benefit to any reader. It is small, easy to read and powerful. The vignettes display excellent examples and the exercises at the end of each short chapter are practical. The italics of fantasy and fact regarding "feedback" makes for an even faster read. You can browse through it quickly to find the passages where you wish to focus.

The book is short and sweet enough but you can find it completely summarized in three pages in the Epilogue. If it sounds as if there isn't much meat to this book, think again. It is deceptively challenging but not daunting. It makes a great reference book that I like to come back to time and time again.—Roberta Hill

I had several 'ahas' reading this clear and entertaining excursion into everyday interactions. Feedback should be given sparingly and taken thoughtfully - with a grain of salt. That's one (of many) useful messages demonstrated here. --Marvin Weisbord, author Productive Workplaces

This is a how-to book about relationships with depth, humor and insight far beyond the ordinary. (The authors) deal masterfully with the contradictory impulses we all feel to 'say it like it is' or flee in terror. --Barbara Benedict Bunker, Organizational Consultant, Professor, SUNY at Buffalo

The authors of this wonderful book have untangled and demythologized feedback! --Elsie Y. Cross, CEO, Elsie Y. Cross Associates

More Secrets of Consulting

More Secrets of Consulting

The Consultant's Tool-Kit
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More Secrets of Consulting is a sequel or extension to The Secrets of Consulting, but the two books may be read in either order. One reviewer said: "Just buy this book and improve your life. I add Mr. Weinberg to a short list of those authors and persons in my life that have made me a better person and provided some direction to the chaos of the universe."

Another reviewer said: The "Consultant's Tool Kit" of the subtitle is actually a complex metaphor. Each component of the toolkit is a metaphor for a certain aspect of your personality and personal capabilities. For example, the wishing wand is a metaphor for understanding, and being able to ask for, what you want from a professional relationship. The chapter around this metaphor first explores why most people either don't know what they want or are unable to express it, and suggests ways to make your wishes clearer. It places this in a professional context, contract negotiation, and emphasizes how the personal ability to express and value your wishes will help you negotiate more successfully.

In a similar way other chapters focus on developing wisdom and new knowledge, managing time and information, being courageous with your decisions, learning how to say yes and no, understanding why you and others are in the current situation, and keeping yourself in balance, avoiding burnout and other self-destructive conditions.

These are all important not only to consultants, but to anyone trying to establish a more satisfying professional or personal life by managing problems, by self-improvement and by better handling their relationships to other people.

Michael Larsen said, " More Secrets of Consulting" is a gem of a book, and remarkably quick reading.. Needless to say, a single read through will not impart all the wisdom and experience of this book, but there's much to ponder, and it's my hope I'll be able to put much of this in practice in my most recent venture. Perhaps a year from now, I'll be able to come back and see how well I did :).

Matthew D Edwards wrote: "Developing MORE of your soft and thinking skills. This builds on the first book in this series and is the same caliber, class and application value as the first. More insight from a consultant/leader/teacher with years of experience.

Randy Given said, "This book is much better than the original 'Secrets of Consulting.' The original was released quite a while ago, and you can tell that the author has learned a lot in the meantime, and is better at presenting it. I would have given the original three stars, maybe four. This book I give five stars. Some of my bias may be that this book is more at the level of my current software consulting experience. Some of the topics (e.g., burnout) are sorely needed right now! It is good to see good books at good prices again. If you are a consultant, at least give this title a try.

Charles Ashbacher said, "If you were to buy this book and the previous one, 'Secrets of Consulting,' and read them, then your next step should be to place one in each of your hip pockets. For that is the only part of being a consultant not covered in these books. Wrapped in the guise of folk wisdom, the advice given here could and should be part of a business degree. For, no matter what the circumstances and the size of the companies represented on both sides, a business deal still reduces down to individuals who trust each other enough to 'like' each other in the business sense.

In many ways, you are being paid to tell your customers when they are not right and to do anything other than that is a moral breach of your contract. Weinberg spends a great deal of time in explaining how to deal with this critical situation and that advice hits the dime-sized target.

No one writes business advice better than Weinberg. If he ever decides to give up writing about business, he could make a career out of writing personal self-help books. It will be on my top ten books of the year list.

Becoming a Technical Leader

Becoming a Technical Leader

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Becoming a Technical Leader is a personalized guide to developing the qualities that make a successful leader. It identifies which leadership skills are most effective in a technical environment and why technical people have characteristic trouble in making the transition to a leadership role. For anyone who is a leader, hopes to be one, or would like to avoid being one

This is an excellent book for anyone who is a leader, who wants to be a leader, or who thinks only people with 'leader' or 'manager' in their title are leaders. The book can be described briefly as a guide to developing personal leadership potential, but it is much more than that . . . it is filled with useful insights into personal growth as a professional

Readers say it's always fascinating, and "focuses our attention on what it takes to make teams of thinking technical people work effectively together." Moreover, they say "it's always extremely practical and down-to-earth.

Becoming a Technical Leader is the "textbook" for Jerry Weinberg's world-famous Problem Solving Leadership Workshop. It consists of twenty-four well-reasoned, thought-provoking chapters on making the change from technical star to problem-solving leader.

The Aremac Project

The Aremac Project

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While a pair of grad students push the boundaries of neuroscience and nanotechnology to create software that takes pictures of a person's memory, a terrorist group has been bombing landmarks in Chicago, attempting to extort millions from the city. In the desperate search for clues, two agents hire the grad students, hoping to apply their experimental discoveries to learn more from a suspect's mind. When a sudden murder stymies their investigation, the investigators and the unique Aremac project become the terrorist's next target!

Gerald M. Weinberg has covered the area of systems thinking, writing, and secrets of consulting with a handful of books already. In the light of his previous publications "The Aremac Project" is perhaps an odd one - it's a thriller, not a handbook. "The Aremac Project" is a thrilling story about young geniuses, terrorism, FBI agents, bombs, a mind reading device, and above all it really is a story about a software development project.

Software development is a rare subject in fiction. If you've read any or some of mr Weinberg's other books you'll see pieces of wisdom sprinkled throughout the book. Like the "A Buffalo Story" from "The Secrets of Consulting". "He's like a buffalo. I can get him to do anything I want him to do, as long as he wants to do it." And there's a Robin Hood character, the "Bag Bandit", who teaches bureaucrats about queueing theory and systems thinking. 

The heroes of this story, the two married genius hardware and software engineers, Tess and Roger, are assigned to a federal-funded anti-terrorism project, with the aim to develop a mind reading device, lead by professor Wyatt. Tess and Roger are of course not informed about the true origins of this project when they sign on the project, but the implications of the project are bound to make them aware soon enough. Professor Wyatt turns out to be utterly incompetent. In fact, you could read the book and use his examples as anti patterns for project management. 

Professor Wyatt isn't just an incompetent leader, he's a dangerous programmer as well. A hack in the Aremac's control program's compiled code causes a massive electromagnetic jolt to be released while Tess is strapped to the machine, rendering Tess to a stable paralyzed condition. With Tess paralyzed, Roger turns his focus on helping Tess back to normal, using the Aremac technology. At the same time a group of terrorists are bombing soft targets in Chicago and the FBI is growing more and more impatient to use the Aremac. Tess and Roger are soon entangled in a very challenging software development project.

About the Author

Gerald Weinberg
Gerald Weinberg

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.

I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books that are not yet on Leanpub may be found as eBooks at <http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JerryWeinberg>; on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000AP8TZ8; and at Barnes and Noble bookstore: http://tinyurl.com/4eudqk5.

Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for my writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.

But the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.

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