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The Art of Software Testing, 3rd Edition by Tom Badgett, Corey Sandler, Glenford J. Myers

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Chapter 1

A Self-Assessment Test

Since this book was first published over 30 years ago, software testing has become more difficult and easier than ever.

Software testing is more difficult because of the vast array of programming languages, operating systems, and hardware platforms that have evolved in the intervening decades. And while relatively few people used computers in the 1970s, today virtually no one can complete a day's work without using a computer. Not only do computers exist on your desk, but a “computer,” and consequently software, is present in almost every device we use. Just try to think of the devices today that society relies on that are not software driven. Sure there are some—hammers and wheelbarrows come to mind—but the vast majority use some form of software to operate. Software is pervasive, which raises the value of testing it. The machines themselves are hundreds of times more powerful, and smaller, than those early devices, and today's concept of “computer” is much broader and more difficult to define. Televisions, telephones, gaming systems, and automobiles all contain computers and computer software, and in some cases can even be considered computers themselves.

Therefore, the software we write today potentially touches millions of people, either enabling them to do their jobs effectively and efficiently, or causing them untold frustration and costing them in the form of lost work or lost business. This is not to say that software is more important ...

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