Growing and unordered list of books that I’m coming across being referenced as worth wile reads for Testers

Testing

  • Gerald Weinberg: Perfect Software, and Other Illusions about Testing (2011)
  • Elizabeth Hendrickson: Explore It! (2014)
  • Gojko Adzic, David Evans, Tom Roden: 50 quick ideas to improve your tests (2015)

 

IT

  • Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford: The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win (2013)

Leftfieldish

  • Daniel Kahneman: Thinking: Fast and Slow

Kahneman popularised the concept of having two modes of thinking: fast and slow. Specific takeaways being an understanding of how flawed my brain actually is when it comes to framing risks, understanding statistics and having a multitude of biases in more or less every situation I find myself.

  • Harry Collins: Tacit and Explicit Knowledge

In Tacit and Explicit Knowledge he takes a deep dive into the mechanisms that underpin the transfer of knowledge, helping to bridge the gap into how communications take place and how information can be more effectively transferred between disciplines – testing and development for example.

  • James Bach: Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar
  • Edward De Bono: Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step

Software testing is all about thinking. The abilities not only to focus hard and drill down into a problem, but also being able to defocus and switch to thinking of all of the different ways the problem could be framed instead, are core activities for most testers – whether they realise it or not. De Bono’s work teaches us that you can use logic to dig deep, but you have to think laterally to decide where to put the hole.

  • Michael Michalko’s Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques
  • Edgar H Schein: Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking

Referred to by some as the Columbo approach to problem solving, the basic premise of the book is that you can achieve great things by learning to be a bit more vulnerable about the areas in which perhaps you don’t know so much. Being able to discuss sometimes sensitive problems with team members in an effective way is such a critical part of being an effective software tester.

  • Donald Norman: The Design of Everyday Things

More than any other, Norman’s book can probably be credited with starting the User Experience (UX) movement. As testers we often find ourselves in the position of customer advocate, arguing for changes to processes and functions to help optimise the end-user experience of our systems under test.

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