Explore It! is one of the very best software testing books ever written. It is packed with great ideas and Elisabeth Hendrickson’s writing style makes it very enjoyable to read.
Hendrickson has a well-deserved reputation in the global software testing community as someone who has the enviable ability to clearly communicate highly-practical, well-thought-out ideas. Tens of thousands of software testers who have already read her “Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet” no doubt already appreciate her uncanny ability to clearly convey an impressive number of actionable ideas with a minimal use of ink and paper. A pdf download of the cheat sheet is available online.
If you’re impressed by how much useful information Hendrickson can pack into one double-sided sheet of paper, you should see what she can do with 160 pages.
Testers at all levels of experience will benefit from this book. Like the best TED talks, Explore It! contains advanced ideas, yet those ideas are presented in way that is both interesting and accessible to a broad audience. Beginning testers will benefit from learning about the fundamentals of Exploratory Testing, an important and incredibly useful approach to software testing that is increasingly getting the respect it deserves. Experienced testers will benefit from practical insights, frameworks for thinking about challenges that bedevil all of us, and Hendrickson’s unmatched ability to clearly explain important aspects of testing (including her superb explanations of test design principles).
The value found between the pages of Chapter 4, “Find Interesting Variations,” is in itself worth far more than the price of the book. It is my favorite chapter in any software testing book I have ever read. A large part of the reason I have so much appreciation for this chapter is that I have personally been teaching software testers how to create interesting variations in their testing efforts for the last six years, and I know from experience that it can be a challenging topic to explain. I was excited to see how thoroughly Hendrickson covered this important topic because relatively few software testing books address it. I was humbled by how effortlessly Hendrickson seemed to make this complex topic easy to understand.
Buy it. You won’t regret it. I’m buying multiple copies to give to developers and testers at my company as well, as multiple copies to give to our clients.
Justin’s review also appears on amazon.com.