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2 minute read - Book Reviews

Functional Program Testing & Analysis - Book Review

Feb 5, 2000

A book review of Functional Program Testing & Analysis by William E. Howden.

Book Cover for Functional Program Testing & Analysis

One to revisit

  • Authors: William E. Howden
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill
  • Published: 1987
  • Page Count: 171

Table Of Contents Overview:

  • Chapter 1 - Introduction
  • Chapter 2 - Functions
  • Chapter 3 - States and Types
  • Chapter 4 - Theoretical Foundations
  • Chapter 5 - Functional Program Testing
  • Chapter 6 - Functional Analysis
  • Chapter 7 - Management and Planning

This is not the easiest testing book to read but it is very worthy.

At first glance it seems very daunting. A quick flip through the pages reveals more mathematical symbols than I have seen in any other book but it is important to realise that testing is not an informal subject.

Testers should be expected to know Boolean algebra, we should be expected to have a grasp of mathematics in order to conduct domain testing effectively, we should have an understanding of logic.

This may not be the best book to learn such ‘advanced’ testing concepts, try beizer instead, but this is an important book.

There are few books on testing theory and testers in the real world rarely read academic texts so we don’t get exposed to this kind of information very often, but we should try.

Some of the mathematics aren’t hard. Some of them I haven’t understood yet and I take it at faith value that it is correct.

All of the information required to understand it is contained in the text I simply haven’t dedicated the time to learning it fully. And isn’t that an indictment of the sort of testing carried out the real world. We can generally justify the testing that we do, and the manner in which we document and conduct it, and yet don’t fully understand it.

Testers generally understand flow diagrams and coverage but… Graph theory, possibly not.

Having said all the above, the book does have text in it and it does have good advice on testing. The maths can be skimmed over and learning will still occur. Upon completion the book is then ready to be read again, this time with a view to learning more mathematics and strengthening the foundation from which we approach our craft.

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