Our publisher tells us this is the best selling testing book ever written. We’re working on a Third Edition, but it will be a while yet before we finish it. The basic paradigms in software testing are changing; writing an appropriate survey in the face of this level of change is very challenging.

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Bad Software is probably my best piece of work. This is a consumer protection guide for software. David and I approached this from many directions, giving the reader guidance on how to deal with the retailer, the publisher’s tech support staff, the local, federal and corporate consumer protection agencies, and the legal system. We provide tips on troubleshooting, negotiating, and hiring a lawyer. One of our key goals was to keep the book readable for a non-specialist, but without the oversimplification and unsupported opinion-hawking that is so common in mass-market books (and was urged on us by several publishers). Bad Software is now out of print, but you can find it fairly cheaply at many online stores. Check BestBookBuys for prices.

I’m considering restructuring the Bad Software website so that it provides the original book and ongoing updates. To do this, I need collaborators who can provide the ongoing legal research. (I’m fully committed to the Center for Software Testing Education & Research, so I can’t spare the extensive time that it will take to be a primary mover on a new Bad Software.)

This is a collection of experience-based “lessons” from the testing, programming, management and consulting experiences of James Bach, Bret Pettichord and myself. It’s not comprehensive. We make no claim that these are always applicable. (Of course, we don’t think that anything beyond the trivial that you couldsay about testing is always applicable. That’s at the heart of context-driven testing, which this book illustrates and (for most readers) introduces. This is a controversial book (read some the reviews at and you’ll see what we mean). We directly criticize much of the received wisdom that leads to heavily bureaucratized, overpapered, underproductive, adversarial testing efforts. The book might help you investigate better, get along better with your programming peers, communicate better, and advocate more effectively for better testability, more bug fixes, more realistic schedules (etc.) but it won’t help you achieve that next CMM level.

Order your copy from Amazon

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