|Published On:||December 8, 2010|
|Number of pages:||319|
- Book Summary
- Book Review
Many enterprises regard system-level testing of embedded products as the final piece of the development effort, rather than as a tool that should be integrated throughout the development process. As a consequence, test teams often execute critical test plans just before product launch, resulting in much of the corrective work being performed in a rush at the last minute.
Presenting combinatorial approaches for improving test coverage, Testing Complex and Embedded Systems details techniques to help you streamline testing and identify problems before they occur—including turbocharged testing using Six Sigma and exploratory testing methods. Rather than present the continuum of testing for particular products or design attributes, the text focuses on boundary conditions. Examining systems and software testing, it explains how to use simulation and emulation to complement testing.
Where you find organizations that are successful at product development, you are likely to find groups that practice disciplined, strategic, and thorough testing. Tapping into the authors’ decades of experience managing test groups in the automotive industry, this book provides the understanding to help ensure your organization joins the likes of these groups.
This text addresses product validation testing: proof of fitness for a particular purpose. It includes topics equally applicable to production test, but it really is about product development.
Pries and Quigley deliver a consistent message about test philosophy: The ultimate mission of any test activity is to break the product in a way that teaches its strengths and weaknesses. If you don't learn anything when testing your product, you have wasted your effort, money, and competitive opportunity. And of course, the first corollary: Apply what you have learned to better your test.
Chapter six, the middle, presents an extensive catalog of approaches to accomplish this philosophy. Anyone with more than a passing acquaintance of test will find familiar themes explored here, yet even the most seasoned veteran will find new perspectives. To borrow a line from Peanuts resident psychiatrist Lucy VanPelt, "If we can find out what your approach is, we can label it!" That said, the book is not a recipe to be implemented, but, as another reader has observed, an excellent syllabus for developing a test engineering curriculum. Early chapters examine objectives of the test, forming a bridge to the approaches. The wrap up chapters delve into specific topics that allow test activities to return value to the organization.
It is worthwhile to note that "product" is a wide ranging term. The authors have learned their craft in industries where the imperative to "get it right" can literally be a life-and-death proposition. But the philosophy and techniques presented are equally applicable over most any product on which your business life depends. The only thing lacking in this book is a glossary of the many terms and perhaps some in-depth references for further study. (The authors are building a 'dictionary of test' at their web site, Value Transformations.)
A recent LinkedIn discussion posed the question "How do I develop a test program to meet and comfortably exceed specification X ?" My advice based on 30 years of test experience: Get a copy of "Testing Complex And Embedded Systems." Embrace the philosophies therein and you'll be well on the way to your answer.
Jon M. Quigley is a long time colleague and friend. Kim, an acquaintance through Jon "Quig" used to bring me his work for review, or as he put it, "bleed all over this." (probably something to do with my red mark-up pen) He and Kim have pursued their craft with a "no BS" attitude and a drive for excellence. Now as always, the master becomes the student. I'm learning quite a lot from their books.