HWTSAM – One Year Later

I think it’s been a year since How We Test Software at Microsoft made its way to store shelves (and amazon). For the first few months, I watched the amazon sales ranking multiple times a day. I took a screenshot last December 18th that shows one of the few times we hit the #1 testing book. The book actually made up in the 7k range overall once, but apparently I didn’t take a snapshot.


Since then, the Chinese version was released, and the Korean version is imminent, and I’ve traded writing on weekends and evenings for more time with my family (and occasionally, more time for work). When I finished writing the book, writing another was the farthest thing from my mind, but since then, I wrote a chapter for Beautiful Testing, and have at least entertained the idea of writing something else…someday.

In hindsight, there are many things I’d like to redo with the book, but it is what it is, and I can live with that.It’s a book full of information and stories about how testers at Microsoft do their job. It’s a book about people, approaches, and some tools. It talks about when and why we automate tests, but covers a wide range of other topics as well, and I’m happy with the story it tells.

I think the book has sold somewhere around 5-6k copies (I haven’t looked at numbers in 6 months, but I’ll update this post if I do). That’s certainly not a huge number as far as books go, but it’s still amazing to me. My thanks go out to everyone who bought a copy (and more thanks to those who actually read it).


  1. Congratulations! I wouldn’t describe your book as, “it is what it is,” in any way shape or form. This is a great testing book. I’ve used your book on a daily basis for structuring my testing efforts, for finding more involved ways of testing and for figuring out where to go with my own testing career. It has been and continues to be a great companion. Thanks for publishing this. It’s made a great difference in my life as a tester. Please write a similar book about software metrics.

  2. Congratulations, Alan!

    How We Test Software at Microsoft is one of the better testing books I’ve read in a long time.

    You, Ken and Bj have a right to be happy not only with the story it tells, but also the knowledge and pleasure it gives to your readers.

    • Thanks Joe – I need to remind myself that there are people I really respect from the community who have found value in the book. It’s good for my soul :}

  3. Congrats to you, BJ and Ken. In trying to write a book, I understand what this means to you to some extent.

    A friend of mine recently joined Huawei in Bangalore. He was asked to read HWTSAM and bring in the ideas of the book to work. Thought you should know that.


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