Become Certified Book Reading Tester
There are two type of testers; those who read and those who don’t. If you are reading this blog, I’m happy that you belong to the former and you have a 100% chance to improve yourself as a Tester.
The problem with knowledge is that as you know more, you realize that you know less. That realization forces you to know more from people who might know that you don’t know. That knowledge can be either gained by meeting those persons and if you don’t have that luxury, you can always read what they’ve written.
Thus began my journey as a tester and it is going on by reading more books. That is why when in the recent TOP (Testers of Pakistan) Meetup, I suggested testers to read at least one book this year as one of the main strategies to improve as a tester. Since then I have received some questions on what books testers should be reading and here come some suggestions.
Essentially a tester should be reading three type of books: 1) Books about software testing, 2) Books about the technology/domain they are working and 3) Any book that help them flourish their soft skills. As you can imagine that second category is very generic and it totally depends on the context. The context also changes with a new job or new role. Similarly third category also varies person to person, so as which characteristics one wish to shine/develop. So my take today is primarily on what testing books a tester should be reading.
And I have an offer. If you are based in Pakistan and have read / will read any of the following book and do in-person / on-call conversation with me about them, KnowlegeTester will issue the following “Certified Book Reading Tester” certificate to you. Yes, I mean it to make it sound good for you and me.
With all this long background (“Tamheed e Toolani” in Urdu), here are top three books that I suggest:
When I started my first job as a Tester, my manager gave me this book in the first week and asked to read till chapter 7. So did I and learnt a great deal about basic software testing concepts. It also introduced me to Cem Kaner and his work which really helped me grow as a tester.
Then when I started to work with my manager in the US, I was recommended to read this book – one lesson a time. And ever since I keep referring to this book on different subjects and always find some wisdom. For example a lesson in early chapters that relates software testers as headlights of the car (and not the brakes) helped me lot with defining the scope of my work. It also introduced me to the context driven testing and works of James Bach and Michael Bolton which always give some new and refreshing ideas to the testing world.
This book was discovered by me as part of our transition to Agile world and the struggle we’re having. I was hooked by the terms “Technology facing tests” vs. “Business facing tests” and used Agile Testing Quadrants, Automation testing pyramid and other models given in this book a thousand time in my discussion with testers and engineering teams. Though there is a newer book on the subject that I’m slowly reading but the first one is that every tester needs if they are part of a team that is building software in today’s changing world.
Do you recommend other books to the amazing “ready to learn” testers?