Book Review - "Dear Evil Tester"

Book Review: "Dear Evil Tester"

If you are a tester, if you are a developer, if you just like really funny shit, you should read this book! 

Dear Alan Richardson,

This book had me laughing at my desk and my coworkers wondering if I had gone around the bin. I was enchanted by the sarcasm and wit, but drawn to the practical advice you had in your answers given with the Evil Tester persona.

I have favorites that I go back to and read on really, really stressful days where I need a laugh. I also find myself in the essay section as well, reading some inspiring stuff. I think the essay which most inspired me was "Unconventional Influences". When I get bogged down in my own self-importance, I remember that in the grand scheme, it's all my own bullshit that is plaguing me. It's good to question things, but it's also good to be open to the answers you get from the questions. Your essay reminds me of this all the time. Influence can be a double-edged sword. Used for good, it can be an amazing tool. Used poorly, and you might cut off your own head in spite of yourself.

I also like the recommended reading section, though Alan, lets talk seriously. Let see some love for a couple of other books like: "Agile Testing" or "More Agile Testing" by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory. Or "Explore It!:Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing" by Elizabeth Hendrickson. (Really, I mention those as a counter-point to the ones you referenced. I'm cool with the ones you have already. Honest!)

And because book reviews these days need to have some kind of ranking, I'll give your book four out of five emojis. (I would say 4.5 emojis but giving half emojis doesn't work, have you ever seen half an emoji? Also, the fifth emoji is reserved for something epic and just EPIC. If I ever give something five emojis, I probably sold my soul to it or they own this blog, whichever happens first.)

Humbly blogging,
Mel The Tester


  1. Dear Mel,

    Thanks for taking the time to write your review. I'm pleased to learn you enjoyed "Dear Evil Tester" and that it caused your coworkers to question your sanity.

    I'm especially pleased to learn that you've read "Dear Evil Tester" more than once - the subliminal messages should now be deeply entrenched and the programming eagerly anticipating its trigger for activation.

    I too have read "Dear Evil Tester" more than once, more than twice, and even more than thrice and ... ye olde English liked to keep things concise, which is nice, so thrice will have to suffice (although to be imprecise I have read it even more than that).

    And seriously. Yes, seriously. Yes...

    I had to be picky with the Recommended Reading, I tried to keep it tight. I wanted a thin slice that would entice, much like a delicious choc ice.

    I did try to hedge though:

    "...there are so many books out there on Software Testing you should read as many as humanly possible".

    That was me sticking an "*" in the testing reading list query; as I knew I would miss out a favourite or two, or three as it were with thee. Hence, I'm cool with your resulting counter-pointed reading list "Agile Testing", "More Agile Testing" and "Explore It!", and I look forward to further reading suggestions on your blog and via your twitter feed. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing the unconventional ones.

    And thank you for the emojis, I shall wear them with pride and use them in every year input field that I encounter.

    "The trigger word is splendid." Thank you,



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