Perfect Software and Other Illusions About Testing

Rated 5.00/5 based on 4 reviews
James Bach says, "Read this book and get your head straight about testing. I consider Jerry (Weinberg) to be the greatest living tester."
Answers the questions that puzzle the most people:
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?

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About Gerald M. Weinberg

Gerald M. Weinberg (Jerry) writes "nerd novels," such as The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, and Mistress of Molecules—about how brilliant people produce quality work. His novels may be found as eBooks at or on Kindle. Before taking up his science fiction career, he 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. He also wrote books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the four-volume Quality Software Management series. He incorporates his knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, and software engineers). Early in his career, he was the architect for the Mercury Project's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. Winner of the Warnier Prize and the Stevens Award for his writing on software quality, he is also a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame. The book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) honors his work for his 75th birthday. His website and blogs may be found at

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Also in Series: The Psychology of Technology

Also in Series: Software Testing

Also by This Author


Terren Clark reviewed on April 10, 2015

Far too many people involved with software are either misinformed about, uninformed about, or generally disparage the value of software testing. I appreciate that this book serves to enlighten and inform everyone who reads it regarding the critical role that focused and thoughtful testing plays in software development and improvement.

For those who already know testing and its value, this is an interesting and important read. For those who don't really know testing, but are professionally associated with software in any capacity, this is a crucial read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Dawn Wielgus reviewed on March 5, 2011

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!!
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
Serhiy Yevtushenko reviewed on Feb. 19, 2011

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 dependent
and many, many others

The 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
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
Oliver Erlewein reviewed on Sep. 28, 2010

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.

(reviewed the day of purchase)

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