TESTING BOOKS FOR EVERYONE
Lessons Learned in Software Testing – Kaner, Bach, Pettichord
An absolute must read.
It’s packed with tester wisdom and put into 293 bite-sized lessons.
My copy is always present in my bathroom. Whenever I sit down, I open the book to a random page and pick a lesson. I usually finish between one and three lessons the time I’m there.
If you’re just starting out as a tester or feel you’re in a rut. Start reading this.
Secrets of Consulting – Weinberg
Gerald has been a consultant to many interesting firms for many years. He’s a patriarch to us testers and has knowledge in abundance.
He doesn’t talk much about overflows, interrupts or scripting, his book cover a much broader, higher level.
The Secrets of Consulting teaches us about many different heuristics that consultants can use in their day to day job. Clear, plucked from real-life situations and amusing stories of how you can succeed in getting people on your side.
Thinking Fast & Slow – Kahneman
Kahneman humbles us. Anyone who is an intellectual worker and makes decisions from information should read this book and come to understand their shortcomings.
We all have two systems of thinking. A slow, thorough and pondering system that uses huge amounts of energy and a fast, impulsive quick-and-dirty-solution system that doesn’t take much effort.
Guess which one we use most?
Want to learn how this affects us all, every day? Read it.
Perfect Software, and other Illusions about Testing – Weinberg
I’ve been thinking of buying a ton of these.
It’s a book anyone who has a stake in having good testing should read.
Every tester, because it provides many clear ways of explaining your job to yourself and to others.
Every manager, because you’ll finally understand what testing can and can’t do.
Every programmer, because you’ll see that your coverage is only a small part of the big picture.
An Introduction to General System Thinking – Weinberg
What a book. Written in a clear and captivating manner it bombards you with things to ponder about.
You’ll read a few pages in a row and have ten things to slowly chew through as you try to make sense of them and fit them in how you perceived the world before you knew about them.
To me, this book provided several revelations. Yet, I’ll have to reread it many more times to truly understand it.
Explore it! – Hendrickson
A gold mine for test ideas.
This book gives a very modern and strong case for active and constant exploratory testing.
I liked the practical narration and the clear abundance of experience in the field.
Lots of ideas seem obvious and logical, but Hendrickson gave them a name, why they are important an provides a way of explaining them.
At the end of the book Elisabeth gives two examples of excellent, qualitative products and how they became as such.
Exploratory Software Testing – Whittaker
An interesting take on Exploratory testing. It introduces the idea of Tours to testing. James compares testing of a system to exploring of a city. How would a cab driver, supermodel or tourist differ?
An interesting angle, but I found it somewhat limiting. It can definitely be useful though.
Apart from the tours, the provided stories and experience reports are probably just as interesting.
Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar – Bach
This is the book Bach had wanted to write for a long time and is the book I should’ve read years ago.
James writes about his past struggles in a system that felt broken. The modern education system is just not for everyone and can be quite counterproductive for some of us.
I have felt the same for a long time, though not as strongly.
James and this book are an inspiration to keep reading, learning and questioning things that appear set in stone.
Discourse on the Method – Descartes
This book was quite difficult to plow through. What I took away from it was how important it is to have diverse and a variety of experiences in your life to be able to see what’s worth learning and believing. Descartes aimed to mentally throw away everything anyone had taught him. He build his own knowledge up from as close to nothing as he could and only internalised it once it passed his rigorous rules as being “trustworthy” knowledge.
Agile Testing – Krispin & Gregory
This book has a very large number of enthusiasts who’d put this as the first Testing Book anyone should read. Personally, I
had some troubles getting through it. While reading, there’s tons of handy tips and actual experiences from the writers that help you understand the role of Testing within an Agile context better.
If you want to learn how to operate as a tester in such a context, read this book. If you want to learn how to actually test, you probably won’t find answers in this book. There’s an ‘expansion’ on this book though called ‘more Agile Testing’, it’s sitting in my shelf, but it might provide exactly what I missed.
Experiential Learning – Kolb
Not a Testing book at all. Yet so incredibly enlightening for my work. Testers are professional Learners. If the experiments we do aren’t helping us learn something new, it might be a demonstration, but not a test.
Experiential learning gives insight in how everyone learns differently. How personality traits, age, purpose,… influence us in learning and internalising new ideas differently. What I took away from this is that if everyone Learns differently, everyone Tests differently. Which can be a strength, if taken advantage off, and a weakness if ignored.
Management 3.0 – Appelo
As I progressed in my career, I’ve seen some very bad management.
At least, that’s what I’ve always believed to have seen. When reading this book I actually gained insight in why decisions had been made and looked plain wrong to me, but strategic and thought out to the manager who took them.
I learned to respect the skills and knowledge that are needed for good management. Additionally, were I able to timetravel, I might go back in time and advise my previous managers to about their decisions differently, while being better at talking their language.
Discussion of the Method – Koen
This is the book currently on my nightstand. It was strongly recommended to me by Michael Bolton to find answers on my search of what ‘Heuristics’ actually are and how to better explain them to others.
Together with Koen, I’ll be exploring the Engineering method. How things are discovered, learned and how problems are solved by engineers. From this method, we’ll try to find out whether there is such a thing as the ‘universal method’ which could be used to solve all our problems. Allegedly.