Book Review: Java For Testers Learn Java Fundamentals Fast!

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Book Review: Java For Testers

Java For Testers: Learn Java Fundamentals Fast by Alan Richardson Leanpub $4.99 – $24.99

I am repeatedly asked the following questions on my blog:

How do I go about learning Selenium?
Do I need to learn a programming language?
What language should I learn?
What IDE should I use?

In the past, I have struggled to find a good resource to point people to. I even contemplated writing a book that addresses some of these questions — until I found Alan Richardson’s excellent book, Java For Testers.

JavaforTesters_Cover

Java for beginners

The book does not cover Selenium, but it lays a solid foundation for beginners who need to learn how to program in Java in order to start using Selenium. Why Java? Because when I perform searches on employment engines like indeed or Dice, the majority of the test automation positions I see have requirements for java programming skills — along with Selenium– as must haves. So I think it’s great that Alan focuses on what appears to be the most common language used for creating Selenium scripts –Java.

If you have little or no Java programming experience, the good news is that you need not be a master developer. Alan takes you step-by- step through the fundamentals of Java that pertain specifically to testers. Everything you’ll learn is geared toward testing, so you won’t be wasting your time on concepts you’ll never use.

What is covered in Java for Testers

The book contains 22 chapters, beginning with how to install java and writing your first test, all the way through more advanced concepts like interfaces and logging.

Reading this book, you’ll also learn how to use one of the most popular java IDE JetBrains’s intelliJ along with Maven and jUnit. If that sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to you, don’t worry — Alan makes it so easy that you’ll be creating jUnit tests in IntelliJ by the time you finish chapter three.

jUnit

jUnit made easy

Learning jUnit is essential, and Alan wastes no time getting to it. This  is refreshing, because if you try learning java from one of the more popular java introduction books like Head First Java, O’Reilly’s Learning Java, or Ivor Horton’s Beginning Java none have even one mention of jUnit! (I know because I have a subscription to Safari Books and I did a search for jUnit in all three books) In Java for Testers, Alan begins his coverage of jUnit in Chapter One, and offers a simple, hands-on example in Chapter Three.

I apologize if it seems like I’m kind of on a rant, but JUnit is vital because it’s the test execution framework that runs and validates steps in java test, and is what you must eventually use to drive all your selenium tests with. Strangely, however, you can read hundreds of pages in multiple java books without learning even one thing about jUnit.

Even if you were to pick up the popular
Selenium 2 Testing Tools Beginner’s Guide
by Dave Burns, you’ll find references to jUnit annotation with no clear explanation on what the heck a jUnit annotation is. If you’re totally new to Selenium, or programming in general, the assumption that you already have a firm grasp of these key concepts can be pretty frustrating.

JavaforTesters_Cover

Why this book is so awesome

That’s just one of the reasons why this book is so awesome. In my opinion, it should be the very first book you read before even attempting to use Selenium. Java for Testers is a quick, hands-on guide, with simple, easy-to-follow examples, and covers just enough java to get you started in no time. By the time you finish this book, you’ll be much better equipped to tackle Selenium.

If you’re attempting to learn Selenium and have no programming background — or if you’re a life long user of test automation vendor tool like QuickTest Professional you’ll undoubtedly find yourself faced with a steep learning curve. You’ll need to learn to program, and you’ll need to learn fast. The problem is that all the Java books I’ve read are geared towards developers — not testers. As a result, most chapters you’ll read cover functionality you’ll never use as a Selenium test automation engineer. Seriously. Save yourself tons of time and pick up a copy of Alan Richardson’s Java for Testers book. Now. For extra karma points be sure to give more then the minimum suggested priced of $4.99 to show Alan how much his work is appreciate.

5 comments
Colin Fries - November 27, 2013

Just got a copy of this! Thanks for the rec!

-C-

Reply
    Joe Colantonio - November 27, 2013

    Hi Colin – Awesome! Lets us know what you think of it once you’re done reading it.Cheers~Joe

    Reply
Rommel - June 27, 2014

Just got a copy as well. Fyi, I actually have both Selenium 2 Testing Tools and Head First Java. Read both of them and you are right, both are geared for developers. So excited to start and finish this book from Alan. I saw his Selenium video too a while back. That was awesome too!

Reply
    Joe Colantonio - June 29, 2014

    Great to hear Rommel – I love Alan’s book Java for Testers. I actually had it printed and got it in a binder because I reference it so much.

    Reply
Charlie Daniels - February 4, 2016

It is useful and unfortunately the only thing out there like this, but I think the book could be better – far too many “You won’t understand this, but will later…” type comments. Which from a learning approach is bad practice.
It’s not really scenario based either – Like user stories are.
I think it needs a rewrite (with the author) by someone who understands the learning cycle better.

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